PROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND
MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID
PRACTICAL DETAILS OF
FOR ENGLISH GROWERS
BY JOHN VfEATHERS
AUTHOR OF " A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO GARDEN PLANTS," ETC.
WITH A PREFACE BY WILLIAM ROBINSON
AUTHOR OF "THE ENGLISH FLOWER GARDEN," ETC.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W.
HAZELL, WATSON AND VINEY, l.D.
LONDON AND AYLESBURY.
ALTHOUGH many kinds of fruits and flowers, and
a few other crops like Cucumbers, Seakale, Tomatoes,
Rhubarb, Mustard and Cress, have long been grown
in British gardens on " intensive " principles, it is
somewhat astonishing that the early production of
other vegetables and salads has been left almost
entirely in the hands of the French market -gardeners
Just over forty years ago, Mr. Robinson was, I
believe, the first to call the attention of the English-
speaking world to the methods employed by the
Parisian growers, who for generations past have
practised the art of raising vegetables and salads to
perfection during the worst months of the year. In
the first edition of his admirable volume on The
Parks and Gardens of Paris, he wrote : " We have
several important things to learn from the French,
and not the least among these is the winter and spring
culture of salads inasmuch as enormous quantities
of these are sent from Paris to our markets during
the spring months. ... By the adoption of the
French system salads may be grown to fully as great
perfection near London and in the home counties as
near Paris. The fact that we have to be supported
by our neighbours with articles that could be so easily
produced in this country is almost ridiculous. It is
impossible to exaggerate the importance of this culture
for a nation of gardeners like the British ; and if it
were the only hint that we could take from the French
cultivators with advantage, it would be well worth
Although this gospel was preached so long ago, but
little advance in the art of intensive gardening has
been made in the British Islands so far as vegetables
and salads are concerned. During the past year or
two, however, a keener interest has been awakened
on the subject. Not only has the horticultural press
devoted considerable attention to it, but the daily
papers have also discussed the matter. Among these
one especially, with characteristic enterprise, has
enthusiastically praised the system, and has almost
made one believe that it is quite a simple matter to
make a profit of 600 or 700 per annum out of an
acre of ground cultivated on the " French " system.
Perhaps a little too much emphasis has been laid
upon the profits to be derived from the system, and
there seems to be an impression amongst many who
possess no practical experience of gardening matters
whatever that fortunes are to be made easily by
growing Carrots, Cauliflowers, Lettuces, Radishes,
Turnips, etc., under lights or cloches. Many French
gardeners have no doubt reaped golden harvests as a
result of their industry, foresight, and skill ; but they
have been men saturated with all the details of their
profession gained entirely by experience.
There is no reason, however, why the British gar-
dener endowed with similar energy, skill, and good
business capacity should not make the early production
of vegetables and salads a remunerative business, pro-
vided he is willing to do what his French neighbour does.
Many excellent gardeners are still under the im-
pression that, although intensive cultivation may
be all very well round Paris, it is not likely to be
of great use in the British Islands. Even if this
weak argument be used against the adoption of the
system during the winter months, it cannot possibly
be urged against its practice during the summer
season. French and English gardeners are then
on a level footing. They both grow their salads in
the open air without the aid of artificial heat. But
what a difference is noticeable in the methods of
cultivation, and in the amount of produce taken off
a similar area of ground within a given period ! On
the English side of the Channel, Nature with the
help of an occasional hoeing, and a spasmodic or
irregular watering does most of the work on soil
that has been treated in the ordinary way. Around
Paris, however, not only is the soil made up of beautiful
spongy mould from old and well-decayed manure,
but water is given in such abundance during growth
that Nature is encouraged to put forth all her energies
in the shortest time. Added to this, there is the
ingenious system of intercropping, by means of
which the ground is covered with plants in all stages
of growth, and one crop succeeds another as if by
magic. During the summer months, at least, there
is therefore little to prevent this system being carried
out in Britain.
At the present time there is no book in the English
language dealing with all the details of the French
system of intensive cultivation as practised in the
neighbourhood of Paris. Hence the appearance of
this volume. The subject has been considered from a
commercial gardener's point of view, the main object
being to give reliable information on a subject that is
now attracting great attention, not only throughout
the British Isles, but in the United States and Canada.
French gardens in England and around Paris have
been visited, and the best French authorities on the
subject have been consulted. Chief amongst these
are the works of MM. Court ois-Gerard, Cure, and
Potrat all of which deal more or less exhaustively
with the " culture maraichere." I have also made
frequent reference to Mr. Robinson's Parks and
Gardens of Paris, and I am under still further ob-
ligation to the author of that work for the use of many
of the woodcuts in this volume which he has generously
placed at my disposal. In addition he has honoured
me by writing an " Introduction " bearing directly
upon a subject in which he has been personally in-
terested for so many years. The other illustrations,
apart from my own diagrams, have been kindly
supplied by MM. Vilmorin, of Paris.
My best thanks are due to Mr. George Schneider,
President of the French Horticultural Society in
London ; to MM. Aquatias and Lecoq, formerly of
May land ; and to M. Adolphe Beck, the pioneer of
French gardeners in England, for the information
they so readily gave me on many points.
In regard to the names of the different varieties of
vegetables and salads mentioned in this work, the
French names as well as the recognised English names
have been given in most cases, in the hope that it may
prove a convenience.
INTRODUCTION, BY MR. W. ROBINSON . . . XVii
THE MEANING OF " INTENSIVE " CULTIVATION . I
THE HISTORY OF INTENSIVE CULTIVATION IN
WORK IN A FRENCH GARDEN .... 6
THE SITE FOR A FRENCH GARDEN ... 7
THE SOIL AND ITS TREATMENT ... . . IO
WATER SUPPLY 13
MANURES . 17
MAKING THE HOT-BEDS 2O
COST AND MAINTENANCE OF A FRENCH GARDEN . 24
A WORD TO AMATEUR GARDENERS . . -3
IMPLEMENTS AND ACCESSORIES . . . 32
SHADING AND VENTILATION 53
COMBINATION AND ROTATION CROPS ... 55
THE VEGETABLE MARKET IN PARIS ... 57
EXTENSION OF THE FRENCH SYSTEM . . - 59
ARTICHOKES, GLOBE 67
BEANS, DWARF, FRENCH OR HARICOT ... 89
CABBAGES FOR SPRING 92
CARDOONS ........ 97
CAULIFLOWERS ....... 104
CELERIAC OR TURNIP-ROOTED CELERY . , 120
CHICORY, BARBE DE CAPUCIN, AND WITLOOF . 121
CORN SALAD OR LAMB'S LETTUCE . . . 123
EGG-PLANTS OR AUBERGINES .... 131
LETTUCES . . 142
ONIONS . . . . . . . . 185
RADISHES . l88
SALSAFY AND SCORZONERA . . . . IQ2
SORREL ..... . . 193
TURNIPS ........ 2OI
CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS FOR THE YEAR . . 205
PLAN OF A FRENCH GARDEN .... 221
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
1. Raised sloping bed ....... 13
2. Cloches arranged on beds 22
3. Frame as used in French gardens . . -33
4. Cloche 35
5. Cloche carrier 35
6. Cloches stacked up ...... 36
7. Rye-straw mat ....... 3^
8. Frame for making mats 39
9. Frame tilt ........ 40
10. Properly notched cloche tilt . . . 42
11. Badly notched cloche tilt 42
12. Cloche tilted over seedlings . . . 42
13. Wicker manure basket ...... 44
14. Manure stand, etc. ....... 44
15. French water-pot ....... 46
16. Forcing Asparagus in frames 71
17. Asparagus trenches ...... 79
1 8. Asparagus buncher . . . . . 87
19. Cabbage, Early Ox-Heart ..... 92
20. Express . . . . . . .92
21. ,, Early Etampes 93
22. Paris Market Ox-Heart . . . . * 94
23. Flat Parisian .... .96
xiv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
24. Carrot, French Forcing 100
25. Scarlet Horn 101
26. Half-long Scarlet Carentan . . . 101
27. ,, Half -long Scarlet Nantes . . . .102
28. Cauliflower, Dwarf Early Erfurt . . . 105
29. ,, Lenormand, short-stalked . . . 106
30. ,, Second Early Paris .... 107
31. Celeriac or Turnip-rooted Celery . . . .120
32. Witloof or Brussels Chicory .... 122
33. Corn Salad, Round-leaved . . . . .123
34. Endive, Green Curled Paris . . . . . 135
35. ,, Broad-leaved Batavian .... 137
36. Cabbage Lettuce, Grosse blonde paresseuse, or White
37. Diagram showing how twenty-four seedling Lettuces
are pricked out under cloche . . . I 47
38. Diagram showing how thirty seedling Lettuces are
pricked out under cloche . . . . . 147
39. Diagram showing one Cos and four Cabbage Lettuces
under cloche 150
40. Cabbage Lettuce, White " Gotte ". . . .151
41. Diagram showing Cos and Cabbage Lettuces under
cloches intercropped with Cauliflowers . . 153
42. Cabbage Lettuce, Palatine 154
43. ,, ,, " All the Year Round " . . 155
44. ,, ,, Giant Summer .... 156
45. ,, Passion . . 157
46. Winter Tremont . . .158
47. Diagram showing one Cos and three Cabbage
Lettuces under cloche 161
48. Diagram showing first, second, and third moving of
cloches over Lettuces , . . .162
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xv
49. Cos Lettuce, "Paris White " . . . .164
50. Melon, Prescott Early Frame . . . .167
51. Melon, Cantaloup Silvery Prescott . . .168
52. Mushroom caves, view in . . . .179
53. Mushroom caves, view in 181
54. Radish, Forcing Scarlet White- tipped . . .189
55. Olive-Scarlet White-tipped . . .190
56. Turnip, Half-long Vertu or Marteau . . . 202
57. Half-long White Forcing . . . . 203
THERE is no contrast in the farm or garden world more
striking than that between the market-gardens of London
and Paris : about London broad sweeps in the Thames
valley, wind-swept, shelterless, well farmed ; about Paris
close gardens, walled in, richly cultivated, and verdant
with crops, even at the most inclement time of the year,
and with not an inch of space wasted with paths. And
this is not owing to the differences of climate, although
people say, whenever one speaks of it, " It is a question
of climate" I do not know a worse climate in winter
than that of Paris, the season when the gardeners get
their most profitable results. For all green things our
climate is, if anything, a shade better than theirs. The
very fact of the little cloche covering acres proves that
the climate of Paris is not so good. The late M. Henri
de Vilmorin used to tell me that his father had much
considered the market-gardens of the two capitals, and
estimated that the French grower of vegetables got at
least four times the quantity obtained in the larger and
broader cultures round London. Be it noted here that
this book concerns the limited culture of the Paris market-
gardens, for around Paris, as around London, there is
the large field culture of vegetables. There is good soil
round Paris in the Seine valley, and we cannot complain
of the soil in the valley of the Thames it is a totally
different system and plan we have to look to.
The cloche is a great worker for the grower, and defies
a harsh climate, as, combined with good soil and culture,
it enables the French gardener to supply so many of the
markets of Britain and Western Europe with salads
and other early and welcome things. The use and work
of the cloche well deserve study on the part of gardeners.
The packing and moving of cloches require much care,
if we are not to lose the half of them, and we should not
want makers of them over here. Surely our own glass
people should be able to supply us. It was one trouble
of the imported cloches that if not very carefully packed
half of them were lost on the way. Even without the
finely prepared soil of the Paris gardens, they are most
useful in various other ways, and I strike my Tea Roses
under them in the autumn, and get the early tender
green things in the spring. They are also an excellent
aid in propagation.
It should be borne in mind that the soil of the French
market-garden is not really a soil as we understand it,
but very often is almost decayed manure old hot-beds,
in fact that, mixed with a good natural soil below,
makes the conditions of soil about as good as they can be.
The French cook is a great aid, because, master in
his domain, he insists on having things of the right
quality and right age. In the Paris market you never
see the coarse razor-bill beans of our market, nor carrots
scarcely fit to offer to a horse, because over all vegetables
the cook exercises control. If our English cooks were to
have the same power it might help to put a stop to the prac-
tice of sending coarse vegetables to our markets. Once,
speaking to a leading grower of peaches at Montreuil,
I asked his opinion of certain new peaches more re-
markable for size than for good flavour, and he said,
" // we were to send in those peaches to our customers
they would be promptly sent back to us" !
The clever way of intercropping in these gardens is
instructive, and might be carried out almost anywhere.
Weeks before a given crop is ready for cutting another
crop, usually of a different nature, is planted between,
and when the first crop is cut the new one is ready to
spread itself out and occupy the whole of the ground.
The partial shade of the first crop does the young plants
no harm. This is one way of getting a good deal off
the ground. This plan is carried out to some extent
by cottage gardeners in England, who are often good
This book is the work of a thoroughly trained gardener
(a better word than horticulturist) ; it is sure to be helpful
to all those who are interested in this question, and goes
as far as a book can. I think in all these interesting
cultures we ought to do a little more than book or college
work. We should send young men abroad after due
training, the farmer to Germany and Hungary, the
gardener to France. There is so much more to be learnt
by actual contact with soil, climate, surroundings every-
thing. They speak to us in a way that no book ever
can. And the same thing may be said in regard to
forestry and mirsery work ; but the men who are to do this
kind of work should be well-trained men that is, men who
have been trained in several good gardens, so that they
might be able to judge of the value of what they saw.
Those who think of attempting such gardening in our
country should remember that this very special culture
is for the most valuable crops, and that the work is done
in the best conditions by unremitting labour of trained
men. In France, as in our own country, for ordinary
things there is the open field culture. Also there are in
France and in all countries certain things that have to
be grown in the best natural conditions and soils if
their finest qualities are to be secured such things as
asparagus, for example, and even the wild-flavoured
turnips we see in our markets in spring ; and, whether
we deal with plants, or horses, or cattle, or sheep, no skill
can take the place of the natural conditions that suit
For the special cultures round Paris a good supply
of water is essential, and this cannot be commanded so
well in open field culture. In the British Islands the
supply of water is so copious that, except in the south
and east, we seldom feel the want of it ; but in the London
district, in hot summers, the markets sometimes suffer,
and therefore a good water supply in all parts of the
choice garden is a gain. I noticed in the Chinese gardens
in California a striking resemblance to French ways
in their thorough culture, absolute cleanliness, and
immediate supplies of water ; and everything suggested
some old-world connection between the two.
THE MEANING OF "INTENSIVE"
THE term " intensive " cultivation is now used to
indicate the particular methods employed by market-
gardeners or " maraichers " in the neighbourhood
of Paris to produce early crops of salads and vege-
tables at a season of the year when they are most
likely to realise high prices in the market. These
early crops are known as " primeurs " amongst
French gardeners ; and to secure them at just the
right moment necessitates intimate knowledge as
to the soil, temperature, and general treatment re-
quired by each particular crop to bring it to perfection.
Intensive cultivation differs from the ordinary methods
of culture, inasmuch as it means, in addition to know-
ledge, incessant care and attention. Comparatively
small areas of ground are used by growers, and it
may be said that at no time during the year is the
land free from crops of one kind or another. Indeed,
several crops are grown on the same patch of land
2 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
simultaneously, as mentioned further on in the pages
of this work. The great aim seems to be to grow
together crops of quite different natures, so that
the growth of one shall not interfere with the proper
development of the other before it is gathered.
" The culture of salads for the Paris market," said
Mr. Robinson forty years ago in his Parks and Gardens
of Paris, " is not merely good it is perfection."
The same opinion holds good to-day, and there can
be no doubt that in many parts of the British Islands,
where the climate is kinder to the gardener than in
the neighbourhood of Paris, it is within the region of
possibility to grow produce that would rival if not
surpass what is imported from abroad.
Although much attention has been directed to
the French methods of growing such early crops as
Carrots, Radishes, Cauliflowers, Turnips, Lettuces, etc.,
there are at present few establishments in England
where the system is practised on bona-fide commercial
lines. The first garden of the kind was established
at Evesham in the year 1905, but it soon passed
from the hands of the original owner. What may
be called an experimental and educational garden on
intensive cultivation has also been established at
Mayland, in Essex, by Mr. Joseph Fels. No expense
has been spared in fitting up this garden with all
modern appliances, and a capital outlay of some
2,000 to 3,000 has been incurred. The ordinary
market-gardener, however, no matter how intelligent
or skilful he may be, is not likely to look upon such
a large initial outlay with great favour, knowing
as he does from practical experience the fluctuations
of the markets, and the fickleness of the public taste.
MEANING OF " INTENSIVE " CULTIVATION 3
While it may not be necessary to spend anything like
2,000 or 3,000 when starting a French garden, it
is simply preposterous to imagine as some do that
the intensive system of cultivation can be adopted
on remunerative lines without incurring some expense.
Cloches, frames, manure, and water the four great
feet of the system must be provided before a start
can be made, and what these are likely to cost may
be seen from the figures given at p. 25.
Besides the French gardens at Evesham and in
Essex, there are others, such as the one at the Burhill
Golf Club, Walton, and the notable one at Thatcham
in Berkshire. This garden has been much boomed
in the daily press, and is undoubtedly a most inter-
esting object-lesson as to what can be done by women.
It is managed entirely by ladies, with the help of a
French gardener or " maraicher " ; and I should
say that it was established on reasonable and economic
lines. The garden occupies about 2 acres, and is
on a fairly rich sandy loam, with a gentle slope to
the south. The land has been fenced in all round,
and notwithstanding the fact that most of the manure
has to be carted from Reading, a distance of 14 miles,
and works out at js. per ton, I was informed that
very good results were obtained. Water is obtained
from a well that has been sunk 40 feet deep, but it
is to be made deeper. Last year the storage tank
held only 500 gallons of water ; this was found to
be much too small, and it was necessary to keep
the oil engine pumping all day to secure a sufficient
That profits are to be made out of French gardening
there can be no doubt, and an attempt has been made
4 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
at p. 26 to show what they are likely to be. The
figures given may be considerably below the mark
so far as profits are concerned, and if so, so much
the better. It is always as difficult to estimate
profits in advance as it is to count chickens before
they are hatched. In any case, profits depend upon
so many factors the personality of the grower, his
skilfulness as a cultivator, his knowledge of the
markets, his business ability, etc. any one of which
neglected or overlooked at a critical moment may
easily upset the best-laid schemes, and end in loss
instead of profit.
There is one thing about commercial gardening
from which we cannot get away, and that is expenses
must be incurred if any profit at all is to be made.
HISTORY OF INTENSIVE CULTIVATION
Some people are inclined to think that the present
system of intensive cultivation as practised in the
market-gardens (or " marais," as they are called) in
the neighbourhood of Paris is an old English system
that was dropped years ago and is now being revived.
I do not think it is anything of the kind. The English
gardener has had his system all along, and the French
gardener his each sticking more or less obstinately
to his own.
The system described in this work is by no means
new, but I think it may be looked upon as being
almost exclusively French, if not entirely Parisian.
Claude Mollet, the first gardener to Louis XIII. of
France (b. 1601, d. 1643), seems to have been the
HISTORY OF INTENSIVE CULTIVATION 5
first great exponent of it, judging from his Theatre
du Jardinage, published in 1700. Another French
gardener, La Quintinye (b. 1626, d. 1688), whose
Instruction pour les Jardins fruitiers et potagers was
published in 1690, also deals with the subject and
tells how he was able to send to the table of Louis XIV.,
surnamed " the Great " (b. 1638, d. 1715), Asparagus
and Sorrel in December ; Radishes, Lettuces, and
Mushrooms in January ; Cauliflowers in March ;
Strawberries early in April ; Peas in May ; and Melons
From this it may be gathered that the art of inten-
sive cultivation even in the seventeenth century was
by no means in its infancy. Frames were already
in use, and long before them cloches were common.
From the time of Louis XIII. to that of Louis XVIII.
that is, from about the year 1600 to 1800 great
progress seems to have been made ; and garden after
garden was established in Paris and its environs.
The troubles of the Revolution and the wars of the
Empire, however, interfered a good deal with the
development of the system for the time being. But
in 1844, according to Courtois-Gerard, about 1,500
acres of land were devoted to intensive cultivation in
Paris. This area was in the hands of 1,125 growers,
so that each had an average of not much more than
Since that time great alterations have taken place
owing to the construction of railways, new boulevards,
and other improvements, the result being that many
of the old Parisian market-gardens have completely
vanished. On the outskirts of Paris, however, several
hundreds of gardens have been established, and it is
6 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
computed that about 1,300 growers practise the
intensive system of cultivation at the present time
on about 3,000 acres of land. These growers have
about 460,000 lights, and from 5,000,000 to 6,000,000
bell-glasses or cloches among them. The largest
number of lights used by a single individual is said
to be 1,400, and the smallest 60 ; while the greatest
number of cloches used by one man is said to be
5,000, the lowest number being 100.
The produce grown by these market-gardeners is
considered to be worth over half a million sterling
yearly giving an average of about 400 to each
WORK IN A FRENCH GARDEN
Those who produce early vegetables and salads
have by no means an easy time in French gardens
proper. Every one is awake before daylight, and
the women play their part as well as the men. In
summer they are often up at 2 o'clock in the morning,
and in winter at 4 o'clock, so as to be ready to sell
the produce at the central markets. When they re-
turn home they attend to such work as weeding, and
packing, or pulling the vegetables for the following
day's market. In all their work they are assisted
by their daughters, and although the work is not
exactly rough, it is nevertheless very tiring, because
they are often obliged to kneel on the ground for the
greater part of the day regardless of the season or
The men commence work after the women have
gone to market. At 7 o'clock in the morning they
WORK IN A FRENCH GARDEN 7
munch a crust whilst at work, and at 9 o'clock all
go to breakfast. In the summer time, owing to
the heat, they rest for one or two hours at mid-day
and all have dinner together like a family. After
dinner, each one works on again without interruption
until supper time, which takes place at 10 o'clock in
summer and at 8 o'clock in winter. During the
evening the men water the crops, make mats, carry
leaf-soil, manure, etc. At the same time the women
arrange the produce in baskets, crates, or hampers
according to requirements, after which the waggon
is loaded so that everything shall be in readiness
for the market. Such is the picture of a French
maraicher's or market-gardener's life as drawn by
Court ois-Gerard in 1844, and it is apparently much
the same now. Certainly, one has only to pay a
visit to the Halles Centrales as the Paris markets
are called to see at a glance what an important
part the wives and daughters of the French market-
gardeners play in the great industry we are con-
sidering. Are those who wish to make fortunes
out of the land in the British Islands willing to work
like French men and French women ? That is the
THE SITE FOR A FRENCH GARDEN
When choosing a site for a French garden it is
essential to select a piece of land quite free from
trees and shrubs, and away from high buildings that
cast a shade. The ground should be either flat
or with a gentle slope in any direction between the
south-east and south-west ; and if rectangular in
8 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
shape, so much the better. A position too close to
the sea-coast should be avoided, especially in very
windy localities, as the briny spray from the ocean
will do much damage to tender vegetation.
Protection from the cold winds from the north
and east, and also against south-westerly gales, is
more or less essential in the latter case chiefly on
account of the damage that is likely to be done to
lights and cloches. Good walls, close wooden fences,
or thick hedges should be erected for the purpose.
Walls and fences may be utilised for growing various
kinds of fruit-trees, but in the French gardens I
visited T noticed that the walls all round were quite
bare, and were merely shelters. One grower, indeed,
informed me that it was scarcely worth while trying
to grow fruit-trees on the walls, as they would be
more trouble than they were worth.
Personally, however, I should imagine that good
kinds of fruit-trees trained on a wooden fence or wall
would not interfere with the culture of vegetables and
salads, and would be a source of income in due course.
BORDERS. In every " French " garden it is usual
to have a border from 6 to 12 ft. wide round the
walls or fences, such borders being often raised at
the back and sloping towards the front, especially
when having a south aspect. According to the
season, various vegetables are grown on these borders.
For example Cos Lettuces raised under lights or
cloches may be planted out on a south border in
January, or early in February, after a sowing of
Radishes and Early Carrots has been previously
made on the same soil ; and Cauliflowers raised in
autumn and protected in frames during the winter
THE SITE FOR A FRENCH GARDEN 9
may be planted between the Lettuces in March.
These various crops will mature at different times
the Radishes, Lettuces, and Carrots being gathered
long before the Cauliflowers ; and when the last-
named have matured the border may be utilised
for Cucumbers, Endive, Lettuce, Spinach, etc., ac-
cording to requirements.
On the borders facing east and west similar crops
may be sown or planted. The aspect, however, not
being so genial as that facing south, crops mature
The north border also has its uses. In summer
it may be used for raising Spinach, Turnips, Lettuce,
etc., which enjoy a little shade during the great heat
of summer. Or such an aspect may be used for
storing the idle frames during the summer, or for
building a shed in which lights, mats, etc., not in use
may be packed away.
I have seen the frames packed up on each other
a dozen or more high so as to be out of the way of
crops. The cloches are also stacked up close together
in heaps of four and five (as shown in fig. 6), and
even during the summer months when not in use
are covered with old mats or straw. This is to protect
them from the hail-storms which sometimes suddenly
come on with great violence in Paris. Indeed, in
August 1908 I saw a Vitry garden where sad havoc
had been made amongst the cloches during a hail-
storm in July.
In a " French " garden protection is of such vital
importance that where neither walls nor hedges
exist, it is essential to erect a fence of some sort as
a guard against the wind.
TO FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
THE SOIL AND ITS TREATMENT
Although so much manure is used in the process
of intensive cultivation, one must, nevertheless, not
overlook the fact that a good natural soil in the garden
is of the utmost importance. The seeds of many
crops may be sown in the open air, from which the
plants will later on be transferred to frames or cloches.
And again, plants raised in frames may be transplanted
to the open ground according to circumstances. If
the soil, therefore, is already in good condition it will
mean not only good growth of the crops but also a
great saving in labour and manures. An ideal
garden soil for ordinary purposes should consist of
about 40 parts clay, 35 parts sand, 10 parts lime,
and 15 parts humus, in every hundred. With proper
digging, or occasional trenching, and a fair supply
of manure say about 16 tons to the acre such a
soil will yield excellent results, especially in genial
and sheltered localities. Indeed, for vegetables and
salads I think much more manure than this might
be used in a well -rotted state than is at present usual
in ordinary gardens : 20 to 30 tons to the acre would
not be too much.
Where wet, cold, and heavy clay exists, it will
require modifying with the addition of sand or grit,
and humus, in addition to deep cultivation. If, on
the other hand, the soil is light and sandy or gravelly,
it will be improved by the addition of heavy loam,
chalk, or marl, as well as plenty of manure-^especially
from the cowshed or piggery.
Where, however, frames and cloches are used
extensively for early crops grown on hot-beds, the
THE SOIL AND ITS TREATMENT n
soil beneath is not of such vital importance, as the
roots of the plants do not touch it. I remember that
the soil in the " French " garden at Mayland, Essex,
was little better than harsh brick earth, and yet some
magnificent crops were produced in the frames and
cloches upon the beds and composts that had been
specially prepared for them.
Whatever the soil may be, it is essential to have it
cleared of weeds and rubbish prior to digging and
levelling, so that it will be a fairly easy matter to mark
out the lines where the frames and beds are to be laid
PLANNING OUT THE GROUND. Having decided upon
the number of frames to be used and hot-beds to be
made it is necessary to mark the ground out in parallelo-
grams with a narrow pathway or alley between each.
The frames used by the French growers are 4 ft.
5 in. in width. Consequently, the beds will be made
wide enough to take them. As the ground in Paris
is exceedingly dear often 30 or 40 per acre the
French growers cannot afford to waste any space.
Hence the alley or pathway between one range of
frames and another is reduced to the least possible
width. This is generally about 12 in. but often
only 9 in. just sufficient to allow a man to walk
between them carefully. In places where land is not
excessively dear, it is scarcely necessary to have such
narrow pathways, as they are by no means easy for
the novice to negotiate. One must, however, remember
that the wider pathways will absorb much more
manure for banking up or " lining " the frames in
winter than the narrow ones ; consequently, wide
pathways would be a source of considerable expense.
12 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
PREPARING THE BEDS. Having marked out the
ground, the soil in the beds is then broken up with
the fork. The rake is afterwards passed over it to
make level, and any clods or stones are drawn into the
pathways. Here they are left to be trodden down,
because it is generally an advantage to have the
pathways somewhat higher than the surface of the
beds. If the beds are higher than the pathways the
water runs off the beds away from the roots of the
plants, so that the latter are likely to suffer.
The beds should run as near as possible east and
west, so that the frames shall slope towards the south.
If this position cannot be secured the next best is
between the north-west and south-east, the object
in both cases being to secure as much light and heat
as possible from the sun for the plants beneath the
SLOPING BORDERS. It often happens that borders
cannot be made in sheltered places against walls,
hedges, or fences, and they are then made in the open.
A piece of ground is marked out about 6J ft.
wide and is deeply dug all over. On the south side
a trench about 2 ft. 3 in. is then made about 6 in.
deep, and the soil from it is placed on the northern
edge of the remaining piece of soil. This is about
4 ft. 3 in. wide, so as to accommodate three rows
of cloches when " angled " with each other. The
back of the bed, i.e. the northern side, is made firm
by patting with the spade, and is kept straight with
the aid of a line tightly stretched from one end to
another. The trench forms the pathway, and the
soil from it serves to raise the bed so as to make the
surface incline towards the south. The surface is
THE SOIL AND ITS TREATMENT 13
levelled with the rake, and it will be noticed from
the sketch (fig. i) that the cloches in the first row are
almost on the level, while the two behind are raised
up. If the soil at the back drops down into a slope,
FIG. i. RAISED SLOPING BED FOR CLOCHES.
it may be chopped down straight with the spade, and
spread over the surface ; or it may be left to buttress
up the entire bed.
Without a good supply of water the cultivation of
early produce on the French system is out of the
question. One of the most important points, therefore,
to bear in mind when selecting a site for a French
garden is to find out whether there is likely to be an
abundance of water or not. In the great majority
of cases it may be impossible or ruinously expensive
to have water from any of the companies. It must,
therefore, be secured either from streams, ponds, or
wells. In any case, it will be necessary to secure it
in such large quantities that the supply is not likely
to fail at a critical moment.
In a garden of any size, remote from companies'
water mains, it will be necessary to have a large storage
14 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
tank erected at a height of about 20 feet. To get
the water into the tank from a stream or a well, various
kinds of pumps are used. Windmills, gas, oil, or
electric pumps, " rams," and pulsometers are in use,
and are all more or less useful for throwing large
quantities of water. Windmills are favoured by many
growers. They have, however, the drawback so far
as intensive cultivation is concerned of lying " be-
calmed " on a broiling hot summer's day when there
is not enough wind to stir a leaf, and perhaps just
when the crops are in the greatest need of water.
Assuming that water is available in sufficient abund-
ance, perhaps a pump driven by a gas, oil, or electric
engine is on the whole most reliable. I have seen
them all at work, and consider where electric current
can be obtained at a cheap rate from adjacent mains
that the electric pump requires the least outlay of
capital, and requires the minimum of attention. I
saw such an electric pump at work in the outskirts of
Paris, and the starting and stopping was simplicity
itself merely pushing a small lever over a distance
of an inch or two.
Although windmills and gas, oil, or electric pumps
will throw large quantities of water, they all suffer
from one drawback in common namely, that the
water obtained is almost, if not quite, ice-cold in
winter. The application of ice-cold water to tender
crops growing in a temperature of from 65 to 75 Fahr.
would be probably fatal to the plants. If not, it would
at least cause stagnation of growth, and induce chills
and other troubles. For this reason one is almost
inclined to favour the " pulsometer " as a suitable
pumping-machine, simply because it takes the chill off
WATER SUPPLY 15
the coldest water, and in winter-time the plants and soil
may be moistened with water of a genial tepidity. The
great drawback, however, to a " pulsometef " seems
to be that it will not pump until steam has been " got
up " in the necessary boiler attached. It also requires
the almost constant attendance of a man to keep the
fire well fed with coke or coal ; and this last item is
likewise a source of considerable expense.
With any of the other pumps mentioned, the diffi-
culty of heating the water in the storage tank may
be got over fairly easily. By fixing up a small, ordinary
" saddle " boiler, and connecting it to the storage tank
with a '" flow " and " return " pipe, sufficient heat
will be generated with a barrow-load or two of coke
per day ; so that the temperature of the water is easily
raised to the region of 60 to 70 Fahr., or even more
if the boiler is " driven."
.As little or no water is actually applied overhead
directly to the plants growing on the hot-beds and
under cloches during the coldest period of the year,
say from November or December till March or April,
the question of heating the water in the storage tanks
in winter is not of paramount importance perhaps,
unless the liquid is required for use in hot-houses and
CAPILLARY ATTRACTION. During the cold winter
season, the early crops in the frames derive all the
moisture they require at the roots from the rain-
water that runs off the lights on to the rather long,
littery manure in the narrow pathways between the
hot-beds. By capillary attraction the water is ab-
sorbed from the sodden pathways to the centre of
the beds beneath the lights, and in this way the
16 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
tender plants secure it after the chill has been taken
off by the warm manure. The application of water
in this indirect way also accounts for the narrowness
of the hot-beds used, as it is obvious that in the case
of wide beds it would be impossible for the water to
reach the centres by means of capillary attraction
The crops under cloches, of course, secure moisture
in the same way, only more easily.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE WATER. To secure a proper
distribution of water over the garden it is advisable
to have pipes laid on from the storage tank or a com-
pany's main. The pipes should be 3 or 4 in. in
diameter to secure a good and easy flow of water in
all directions. If the tank is also placed sufficiently
high say, 20 to 25 feet there will be good pressure
of water, so that when a hose-pipe is attached to any
of the stand pipes placed at regular and convenient
intervals it will be possible to water the contents of
several frames without inconvenience.
In addition to the hose-pipes, it is also advisable
during the summer months to have several galvanised
tanks, or even barrels, placed where they are most
likely to be useful when Melons are being watered by
waterpots. Indeed, the more conveniently a garden
and its appliances are arranged the better, more
comfortable, and the more economic will the working
be on the whole. A slip-shod or ill-digested scheme
of arrangement is likely to lead to endless troubles
afterwards, when it may be difficult to rectify defects
without considerable expense.
In addition to a plentiful supply of water there must
also be a bounteous, almost a prodigious, quantity of
manure available and the best stable manure into
the bargain ; otherwise intensive cultivation is quite
out of the question. Good stable manure costs any-
thing from 45. to 75. per ton ; and 1,000 tons
annually may be required for a garden of two acres.
The first year, naturally, is more expensive in every
way than succeeding years, and with the progress
of time somewhat smaller quantities of manure may
When the manure becomes old or spent it is not
useless. It gradually becomes trodden down into fine
black particles, and in this condition of vegetable
mould is a most important ingredient in the soil of
every French garden. In some old Parisian gardens
I visited, the manure of former years covered the
original soil to a depth of two or three feet, and it
almost felt as if one was walking on a velvet pile
carpet. This old manure, decayed into fine particles,
assumes a deeper and deeper tint with age, and yields
up its fertilising foods under the influence of air, water,
and heat for the benefit of the crops grown upon it.
It is used over and over again for spreading over the
open borders, over the hot manure in the frames, and
over the cloche beds, in layers of varying thickness,
and the tender rootlets have no trouble whatever in
penetrating its moist, warm, and spongy tissues.
Besides good stable manure, other manures such
as that from cows, pigs, sheep, etc. are also freely
used by some growers, as well as night soil when ob-
i8 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
tamable, and when no strong objections are raised on
the question of odour. Many French housewives, with
characteristic thrift, never waste any refuse from the
house, the poultry run, or the kitchen garden, if it is
likely to be at all useful in the culture of vegetables or
salads. In fact, anything in the shape of animal or
vegetable refuse is carefully preserved, and made into
a compost heap mixed with leaves, weeds, and soil.
It is then freely and frequently drenched with soapy
water on washing days as well as with any other
household liquids available. In due course this
organic refuse (which is taken away by the dustman
in England) becomes converted into a beautiful rich
and friable mould.
Chemical or artificial manures, although now so
extensively employed in ordinary gardening practice,
are not popular with intensive cultivators. And it is
questionable, even in the event of stable manure
becoming scarcer owing to the more general adoption
of motor-cars, if chemical manures would ever
produce the same excellent results that are now
secured from hot-beds with their equable and genial
The use of hot-water pipes scarcely requires con-
sideration for somewhat similar reasons. They dry
and bake and parch the soil so regularly, that the
tender roots of crops would soon be shrivelled up
unless the lights were frequently taken oif to drench
the beds with water : and this is a dangerous pro-
ceeding during the winter months, and likely to result
in total loss of the crops.
TREATMENT OF A MANURE HEAP. So as to avoid
waste and secure the best results, it is necessary to
manage a manure heap with a certain amount of care
and intelligence. During the summer months hot
manure is not required, but large quantities are secured
and are kept in reserve until autumn, when the beds
are made. On the outskirts of Paris enormous heaps
of manure may be seen during the summer months,
and in August men may be seen with bare legs and
trousers turned up to the knees, turning over the
heaps and watering them copiously. The straw or
litter is forked out and kept in conical heaps by itself.
The short and more or less well-rotted portion which
is left should also be made into similar conical heaps,
so that the rain may run off more easily without
making the heap sodden. The liquid from a manure
heap, however, should not be allowed to run waste,
as it contains valuable plant foods. If allowed to run
into a hollow place at the foot of the heap, the liquid
can then be thrown over the manure from time to
time, thus preventing it from getting too hot and
It sometimes happens, when manure is improperly
managed by leaving the rotted and unrotted portions
mixed up together without being turned and watered,
that a heap catches fire much in the same way that
haystacks do in summer and autumn, owing to the
enormous heat generated by decomposition in the
interior. Accidents of this kind are very costly, and
the only way to prevent a manure heap being totally
consumed is to give it a thorough drenching with
20 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
MAKING THE HOT-BEDS
From October till the end of March hot-beds are in
constant use for the production of early crops. As
some of these require more heat than others it is
necessary to regulate the thickness and heat of the
beds according to the season and the crop grown. If
the temperature is too high there is great danger of
the plants becoming too tender and " sappy " in
growth ; they are, therefore, likely to suffer consider-
ably when exposed during the cold winter months.
On the other hand, just the right temperature must be
maintained to secure the maximum amount of growth
in the shortest time, coupled with careful ventilation
on all favourable occasions.
French growers usually make three different kinds
of beds according to season and crop namely, (i)
raised hot-beds ; (2) sunken beds in trenches for
melons ; and (3) in April beds made from spent
manure or the dark mould that has already played its
part in the production of previous crops.
Having marked out by means of pegs and lines
where the beds and frames and cloches are to be
placed bearing in mind that they are to be inclined
towards the south, south-east, or south-west the
manure is wheeled on to the ground or carried on the
back in the peculiar wicker baskets called " hottes "
(see figs. 13, 14, p. 44).
It is the custom to make the beds deeper on a wet,
heavy soil than on a warm, light, sandy one, and also
to make narrow beds deeper than wide ones. Beds
made during the winter months are also thicker in
proportion than those made in autumn or spring, as
MAKING THE HOT-BEDS 21
greater heat is required to resist the atmospheric
The most reliable manure for maintaining a good
and steady heat is undoubtedly stable manure well
moistened with urine. In a fresh state it is rarely
used, as the heat generated is much too great, being
often as much as 140 to 160 Fahr. Fresh manure is
brought into proper condition by turning it over two
or three times with a fork. It is then ready for use
either by itself when great heat is needed, or mixed
with older and less active manure when a lower
temperature is required.
French gardeners make their hot-beds about 5 ft.
5 in. in width. This allows 4 ft. 5 in. for the
frames, or three rows of cloches on top when arranged
as shown in fig. 2. A pathway about i ft. wide is
thus left between each bed, but it is really only about
9 or 10 in., as the manure must project a little beyond
the frames. The length of the beds is regulated by
the number of frames used ; but five frames (carrying
fifteen lights) are generally placed one after the other
before an intersecting pathway is made.
When actually making up the hot-beds the well-
mixed manure should be placed in layers over the
required space, taking care to keep the edges vertical.
When sufficient manure has been placed in position,
it should be trodden down well with the feet, and
beaten with the fork to secure a level surface and equal
density throughout. Any hollow places must be filled
up with more manure, until the proper level has been
reached. When complete, the whole bed should be
watered all over if inclined to be dry, so that it is
made moist enough to generate a steady heat.
22 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
When making beds in October for the cultivation
of Lettuces, they need not be more than 8 in.
in depth. A fair quantity of short litter should be
mixed with the hot and fresh manure, because at this
period the plants do not require heat so much as being
kept rather dry and sufficiently warm. Beds made
in November should be somewhat deeper, and made
with equal parts of old and fresh manure. From the
commencement of December the beds should be
from 12 to 14 in. thick, and made of fresher manure.
FIG. 2. SHOWING HOW THREE Rows OF CLOCHES ARE ARRANGED ON BEDS.
This is necessary, as a greater and more steady heat
is then required for such crops as Lettuces, early
Carrots, and Turnips.
If the beds are to be covered with cloches, the surface
should have a layer of old mould spread over it evenly.
After this three rows of cloches are placed upon each
bed, alternating as shown in fig. 2.
When the beds are intended to carry frames, these
may be placed upon them as soon as made, and when
properly arranged in straight rows, the surface of the
beds may be covered with mould, or even with finely
sifted gritty soil in the springtime. When the frames
are in position, the "lights" are placed upon them,
and these are covered with mats for a few days to
MAKING THE HOT-BEDS 23
hasten the more rapid heating of the manure in the
In preparing the ground to be occupied by a rang*
of beds the work is carried out as follows : The soil is
taken out about 3 ft. 3 in. wide at the base and thrown
into a raised heap or ridge the length of the range,
so as not to hold the water, or to drain itself if already
too wet. When the ground for the first row of frames
has been treated in this way, the soil from the second
row is used for placing on the hot-bed in the first row,
the soil from the third is placed in the second, and so
on to the last row.
The narrow pathway which has been left between
each row of frames at first remains empty if the weather
is not too severe. According, however, as the hot-beds
begin to lose some of their heat, the pathways between
the frames are filled up, or " lined," with short or
strawy litter, not short, hot manure. This is moistened
by the dripping rain from the lights, and with the heat
from the beds, the manure in the pathways gradually
generates heat and serves to rekindle or conserve the
heat in the beds themselves for a longer period. The
ends of the frames are banked up with manure about
a foot deep, as are also the sides of the first and last
row of the entire range, so that eventually all the
frames look as if they were embedded up to the lights
in a sea of manure. In this way the frames at the
ends of the rows are kept as warm as those in the
centre. This is an important consideration, especially
for growers who wish to gather an entire crop at once.
It is from the wet manure in these narrow pathways
that the beds in the frames obtain the necessary moisture
during the winter months, by capillary attraction.
24 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
When these hot-beds are freshly made and very
warm, care should be taken not to sow or plant until
the first fierce heat from the manure has somewhat
abated. If this precaution is neglected and a very
high temperature develops, it may be necessary to
take away the outside banks of manure from the
frames so as to cool the beds. If this does not suffice,
plenty of water must be thrown round the beds and
in the pathways until the temperature sinks to the
COST AND MAINTENANCE OF A
As much has recently been heard as to the great
profits obtainable from an acre or two of ground
cultivated on the French system, it may be of interest
to consider the approximate cost of establishing a
garden, the annual expenditure on the same, and the
returns that are likely to be secured from markets in
a fairly normal state of trade.
Taking an ordinary French garden devoted mainly
to producing early crops, one rarely finds more than
300 frames, or 900 lights, or more than 3,000 cloches.
As the frames and lights are moved off one crop on
to another, it is advisable to have extra land avail-
able so that the changes and rotations necessary may
be carried out without difficulty.
Generally speaking, it is more economical in pro-
portion to cultivate two acres than one, as the
initial outlay is almost the same in both cases for
COST AND MAINTENANCE 25
Taking the various items separately for establishment
we arrive at the following figures :
TABLE I. ESTIMATED CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ON Two
Water-tank, tower, pumping-engine, stand-
pipes, fences, etc., say. . . . . . *2OO o o
3,000 Cloches @ 5 per 100 . . . . 150 o o
900 Lights, painted and glazed, @ 6/6 each 292 10 o
300 Frames for same @ 8/- each . . . . 120 o o
700 Rye-straw mats @ 5 per 100 . . 35 o o
Horse, Cart and Harness, say . . . . ^60 o o
6 zinc French waterpots @ I5/- each . . 4 10 o
3 Spades @ 4/6 . . o 13 6
2 Forks @ 3/6 070
2 American Rakes, 14 teeth, @ 3/- each . . 060
i Manure Basket with straps . . . . o 17 6
i Manure Stand, iron i o o
i Wheelbarrow . . . . . . . . i o o
3 Hose pipes, say . . . . . . . . 600
Dibbers, lines, tilts, handbarrow, etc., say i 16 o
Packing Shed, say . . . . . . . . 20 o o
Miscellaneous, say 30 o o
Total .. .. 924 o o
* If water can be obtained easily and at a specially cheap
rate from a water company, there would be no need to go to
the expense of sinking a well, erecting a water-tower and
tank, or for having a pumping-engine. This sum might,
therefore, be reduced by say ^150, making the total outlay
774 instead of ^924.
f This expense need not be incurred the first year, perhaps,
unless it can be well afforded.
26 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
TABLE II. ESTIMATED ANNUAL EXPENSE ON Two
Manure, 1,000 tons @ 5/- per ton . . 250 o o
Labour . . . . . . . . . . 260 o o
Maintenance of Horse (see note, p. 25) .. 30 o o
Rent, Rates, Taxes, Insurance . . . . 50 o o
Miscellaneous Expenses, including cost of
Seeds, say . . . . . . . . 40 o o
Total .. .. 630 o o
TABLE III. ESTIMATED ANNUAL RECEIPTS FROM Two
Lettuces, say 250 o o
Cauliflowers, say . . . . . . . . 80 o o
Melons, say . . . . . . . . . . 150 o o
Carrots, say . . . . . . . . . . 125 o o
Radishes, say . . . . . . . . 125 o o
Endives, say . . . . . . . . 25 o o
Corn Salad, say . . . . . . . . 10 o o
Spinach, say .. .. .. .. ., 10 o o
Cabbages, say . . . . . . . . 10 o o
Celery, say . . . . . . . . . . 10 o o
Turnips, say . . . . . . . . 15 o o
Asparagus, Dwarf Beans, Cucumbers,
Strawberries, Tomatoes, etc., say . . 50 o o
Total . . . . 860 o o
COST AND MAINTENANCE 27
As per Table III. 860 o o
As per Table II. 630 o o
Profit . . . . 230 o o
From the figures given above it will be seen that the
expenditure of a French garden is very great for the
first year 924 sunk in capital, and 630 in expenses,
making 1,554 altogether. Out of this sum, however,
under proper management and with normal markets, it
is estimated that 860 of the outlay would be returned.
This represents a profit for the year of 230, or nearly
25 per cent, on the capital. It may therefore be
assumed that at the end of four years not only would
the capital be paid back, but all expenses would be
paid into the bargain. Under exceptionally favourable
circumstances, this desirable result may possibly be
attained at the end of three years ; but it is difficult
to see how it could be accomplished much sooner.
On the other hand, if the freehold of the garden is
purchased, and a good house be erected on the land,
it may possibly take six or eight years to wipe out
the capital and expenses, before one can really look
upon the results of his work as being pure profit.
It will be understood, of course, that the figures
given are only approximate, although the prices of
cloches, frames, mats, and tools may be regarded as
fairly accurate. Much more money may be spent on
these articles, but an ingenious man will find he can
economise in many ways. For example, it is possible
28 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
to make his own frames, to paint and glaze his own
lights, to make his own tilts, manure stands, etc.
He may also be able to dispense with a horse and cart,
although he would probably find this difficult in an
So far as the figures for the produce are concerned,
the estimates have been based on rather low average
prices in the markets. It has been computed that
the produce from each light realises 205., and from
each cloche 2s. On this basis the nine hundred lights
given above would yield 900, and the three thousand
cloches 300 making 1,200 per annum from these
two sources alone. I am inclined to think these
figures, however, are too high.
Besides the crops mentioned, there are others
that might be looked upon as a source of revenue
even in a garden of two acres, such for instance as
Strawberries, Tomatoes, Early Potatoes, and some
others referred to at pp. 62, 63. It would be safer, how-
ever, for the beginner to confine his attention strictly
to those crops that can be grown economically in
bulk and fetch the best prices. Afterwards, when
he feels more sure of his ground, other crops might
be grown if considered desirable and sufficiently
Perhaps one of the most difficult problems con-
nected with commercial gardening is the disposal
of the produce at such a price as to yield reasonable
profits. In this connection much depends not only
upon the way the " stuff " is grown, but also upon
the way it is prepared for sale. It is well known
that the very finest produce in the world stands a very
poor chance of selling at all, unless it is packed in a
neat, cleanly, and attractive way. The almighty
greengrocer is often the most important factor to
be considered, and his judgment is generally final.
Caterers for large establishments also have keen eyes
for the way produce is exposed for sale ; and the
grower or his agent must not be surprised at any
uncomplimentary references to his vegetables and
salads if they are not packed in such a way as to
command approval or to attract ready and favourable
attention. It is therefore of the utmost importance
that Lettuces, Carrots, Radishes, Cauliflowers, Turnips,
etc., should be prepared for sale and as carefully
packed as possible. There are now many kinds of
crates, boxes, and baskets in use some made of
willow, others of thin strips of wood, all combining
lightness with cheapness and neatness. All root crops
like Turnips, Radishes, and Carrots are of course
nicely washed and cleaned before or after bunching ;
while crops like Cauliflowers, Cabbages, Lettuces,
etc., have the roots, stems, and all unnecessary or
useless leaves taken away. Each crop indeed is
prepared and packed in accordance with what practice
has found out to be the best ; but that does not
preclude any one from improving upon the present
methods, if he sees a reasonable chance of doing so.
Originality, combined with neatness and good pro-
duce, very often means remarkably quick sales.
If a grower does not go to market himself, or sell
direct to his own customers, he must of necessity
send his produce to a commission salesman in one
30 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
or other of the great markets : and herein lies one
of the great dangers of the business. There are
undoubtedly salesmen of repute in all the best markets
who do their best for their clients in selling at the
highest prices ; and they return these prices to the
grower, less the legitimate commission to which
they are entitled. Notwithstanding this fact, how-
ever, it is unfortunately too true that letters appear
frequently in the trade papers from growers who
relate that not only do they receive but little, or
even nothing, for the goods sent to the salesman,
but in some cases the latter individual actually sends
in a charge for expenses incurred in disposing of the
produce ! This, coupled with the high railway rates
which are in themselves equivalent to a protective
tariff often drives the grower of good produce to
despair. It is rare, however, that one hears of a
commission agent entering the bankruptcy court.
A WORD TO AMATEUR GARDENERS
The figures given in the preceding pages refer to
the establishment and maintenance of a " French
Garden " on strictly commercial and professional
lines, and they may well cause the amateur to pause
before embarking on such a system of cultivation.
Where, however, one has a small piece of ground at
his disposal say only 10 or 20 poles there is no
reason why he should not practise the art on a small
scale, and at comparatively little expense. It must
be borne in mind, however, that as the cloches and
lights frequently require attention in regard to closing
and opening (i.e. putting on air and taking it off), as
well as shading, the amateur must either be at hand
A WORD TO AMATEUR GARDENERS 31
to attend to these operations himself, or must delegate
the duties to some intelligent member of his house-
hold. Otherwise his crops are sure to suffer.
In large private establishments (as distinguished
from purely commercial ones) the proprietors fre-
quently employ gardeners skilled in the production
of fruits, flowers, and vegetables. Where these are
grown early in hothouses perhaps the system of
cloches, hot-beds, and lights will not appeal very
strongly. In cases, however, where there is but
little or no glass, one might do worse than invest
in two or three hundred cloches and a few frames
and lights bearing in mind that there ought to be
a good supply of water always available.
It is impossible to estimate exactly the probable
outlay and annual expenses that would be incurred
by any particular amateur, but as may be seen from
the figures below, a good deal could be done by the
outlay of 20, and more of course in proportion to
what is spent. For a small garden the following
estimate may serve as an example :
ioo Cloches .. .. .. .. .. 600
6 Frames @ io/- each . . . . . . 300
18 Lights @ 7/6 each . . . . . . 6 15 o
18 Mats @ 1/6 each 170
Tools and Sundry Expenses, say . . 300
Total Cost of Establishment . . 20 2 o
The prices quoted are higher than those given on
p. 25, as small purchasers usually have to pay more
for material than large ones.
32 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
The annual expenses incurred in such a garden
might be given thus :
i 5. d.
Manure, 10 tons @ 6/- per ton . . . . 300
Labour .. .. .. .. .. 500
10 o o
These figures are given on the assumption that the
amateur attends to the business himself, and employs
only occasional labour to help with making the beds,
The produce from the lights and cloches ought to
be worth the same price at least to the amateur as
it fetches in market. The annual value therefore
would be as follows :
Produce of 18 Lights @ i5/- each . . 13 10 o
,, ,, 100 Cloches @ 1/6 each . . 7 10 o
Total . . . . 21 o o
So that at the end of the first year, having spent 30
altogether, the return would be only fy short of the
total expense. On the same basis, there should be
a clear profit of 11 the second and succeeding years,
equivalent to 55 per cent, on the capital outlay.
IMPLEMENTS AND ACCESSORIES
For intensive cultivation special appliances are
necessary to enable the gardener to secure the best
results. The most important will now be considered.
IMPLEMENTS AND ACCESSORIES 33
FRAMES. These are made of deal planks about
an inch or more in thickness. Those used at the
back are generally 9 in. wide, those in front being
an inch or two narrower. Each frame is 13 ft. long
and 4 ft. 5 in. wide and is built to take three lights ;
so that two men can easily move a frame from one
place to another. The ends of the frames are often
made of oak, and the four planks are nailed together,
having a stout oak post at each corner. The back
posts are 13 or 14 in. long, those in front being
FIG. 3. A 3-LiGHT FRAME AS USED IN FRENCH GARDENS.
10 or ii in., the tops in both cases being flush with
the upper edge of the boards. This gives a slope
to the frames and not only throws off the rain into
the pathways, but also catches the rays of the sun
better. Movable bars connect back and front planks
for supporting the lights in the usual way. With fair
wear and tear the frames last about fifteen years.
Fig. 3 shows a frame for three lights, the " rests " on
the front plank being to prevent the lights slipping
off when lifted up for watering.
LIGHTS. The size favoured by French growers is
4 ft. 5 in. by 4 ft. 3 in. Where durability and economy
are taken into account the frames of the lights are
generally made of oak. The bottom rail, however,
34 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
is often made of iron, as it is more liable to rot from
the water. In the latest make the sash bars of which
there are three are also made of iron, and are as
narrow as possible, consistent with firmness, so that
the maximum amount of light is given to the plants
The lights are painted and glazed in the usual
way, except that top-putty is used on iron sash bars ;
and the smallest pane of glass is kept at the bottom,
because it runs greater risk of being broken than the
others ; consequently it is not so difficult or costly to
It may be mentioned that the frames and lights
in French gardens are narrow for scientific as well
as useful reasons. In winter, when it would be danger-
ous to water the early crops with cold water, the
necessary moisture is obtained from the wet manure
in the narrow pathways by capillarity. If the frames
were too wide, water would not be attracted so far
as the centre of the bed, hence the plants there would
suffer from drought.
CLOCHES. This name for " bell glasses " has be-
come almost an English word now, so it may be
retained without inconvenience in this work. Cloches
have been in constant use in French gardens since
about the year 1623 nearly three hundred years
although originally they are said to have come from
Italy. They have naturally undergone considerable
modification in that time. The best cloches are made
in Lorraine, and measure about 17 in. in diameter
across the mouth, and about 15 in. in height
(see fig. 4). Each one weighs about 5^- lb., and
will hold about 6 gallons of water. The cloches are
IMPLEMENTS AND ACCESSORIES 35
made of clear glass with a slightly bluish tint as a
protection against strong sunshine. Formerly cloches
had a knob on top, but as this acted like a lens and
burned the plants beneath, those without knobs are
now preferred, and generally
used. It has been computed
that something like five or
six millions are in use in
French gardens. It is con-
sidered more economical to
order 200 or 300 at one
time, as small packages are FlG - 4 CLOCHE COVERING
.. , . , , .. CABBAGE LETTUCES.
more liable to be broken in
passing from hand to hand. English glass makers, I
believe, are waking up to the fact that there is likely
to be a trade in bell-glasses for intensive gardening
purposes, so that growers will have an opportunity
of encouraging home industries, if the prices are
Cloches, being obviously fragile, a good deal of
care is necessary in handling them. They are generally
placed in stacks of three, and by means of a specially
FIG. 5. CLOCHE CARRIER.
constructed frame one man can carry as many as
twelve weighing about 66 Ib. at one time. He carries
two stacks of three, back to back, in front of him,
and two similar stacks behind him on the frame.
So that the cloches shall not roll off, the cross-pieces
36 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
next the man are slightly lower than those at the
ends (see fig. 5).
The cloche carrier is only used for long distances.
For a short distance a man can easily carry three
cloches in each hand by inserting a finger between
When the cloches are not in use they are stacked
away carefully in piles of any number up to ten.
Five, however, is a safer number, as shown in fig. 6.
Formerly wisps of straw, hay, or litter were placed
between them to prevent breakages.
It was found, however, that if the
straw became wet the cloches were
liable to crack. Now they are placed
on firm ground on which some straw
or litter has been spread. A small
square piece of wood or block, as
FIG. 6-CLocHEs shown in the fi ure > is P ut on the
STACKED UP top of the first cloche before the
WHEN NOT IN second is placed on it. This prevents
one cloche touching the other, and if
the work is done properly the upper cloche will turn
round easily on the lower. It is hardly necessary to
say that the cloches are placed in positions sheltered
from strong winds, otherwise an unexpected hurricane
might do considerable damage. The stacks of cloches
are placed in rows alternating with each other, and
as a protection against sudden hailstorms in summer
they are covered with straw or old mats. During the
winter months it is never wise to place the cloches on
their side when not in use, as the side touching the
ground is likely to drop out if surprised by a hard
frost, and especially if there is any water inside.
IMPLEMENTS AND ACCESSORIES 37
The interior of the cloches is kept clean by washing
every year about November, when there is little
danger of the sun causing the young plants beneath
to flag or " wilt." A wisp of hay, or old rye mat
tied in the middle, makes a rough brush for the purpose.
The cloche is plunged into a tub of water, and as it is
twirled round with one hand the interior is brushed
with the other. The glass is then well rinsed and
comes out perfectly clean and as good as new. There
is no need to wash the outer surface, as this is kept
sufficiently clean by the rain. During the summer
months, however, some of the cloches are covered
with whiting for shading purposes, but this is easily
removed by the hand when washing the glasses.
Occasionally a cloche gets broken, and old French
gardeners became experts at putting the pieces to-
gether when prices ruled high. Those I have seen
in gardens near Paris were mended with strips of
linen or pieces of glass and white lead placed over the
cracks. Curiously enough a once-broken glass gener-
ally has a long life after being mended, as it is handled
with more than usual care. Now, however, it is
scarcely worth while mending- badly broken cloches,
as they are so moderate in price about 5 to 6 per
100. Some of the special sticking glues like Seccotine
would probably be a great improvement on the white
lead and linen method.
By the use of cloches the gardener is enabled not
only to protect tender plants from the cold and wet
during the worst period of the year, but owing to the
genial temperature beneath them, he can also raise
his plants more quickly than in the open air in the
ordinary way. By constant use over the plants,
38 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
having due regard to ventilation and shading, each
cloche serves all the purposes of a miniature forcing
MATS. As one might expect, coverings of mats
or sacks were in use to protect plants long before even
cloches or frames were thought of. In these days
the mats mostly in use are made of rye straw. Each
mat is about 5 ft. to 6 ft.
6 in. long, and 4 ft. 6 in. wide,
weighs about n or 12 lb.,
and is kept together by means
of five strings running across
the straw stems (see fig. 7).
Before use the mats are steeped
in a solution of copper sul-
phate not only to preserve
them, but also to prevent rats
and mice from gnawing them,
and to keep off fungoid diseases.
FIG. 7. RYE-STRAW MAT.
Each mat costs about is. 2d.
to is. 6d., and with fair wear and tear ought to last
three or four seasons.
The mats are useful not only for protecting the
plants in the frames or under the cloches from severe
frosts in winter, but in summer time they are almost
as much in evidence for shading the lights and cloches
from the scorching rays of the sun. Old mats are
useful for covering the cloches that are stacked up in
summer, to protect them against the sudden hail-
storms that often do much damage. Although the
rye-straw mats are reasonably cheap, it may be
worth while to make them in gardens when bad
weather prevents the employees from doing other work.
IMPLEMENTS AND ACCESSORIES
Boys, girls, or women would probably become more
expert at mat-making in a much shorter time than
men. A smart willing lad should earn from 30 to
50 per cent, more per day than a man at making mats.
A special frame is used for the purpose, but I have
seen mats made on the wooden floor of a barn equally
well. The frame consists
of two pieces of wooden
batten 3 or 4 in. wide, and
6 ft. or more in length,
as desired. These battens
form the side pieces, and
are kept the required dis-
tance apart by the inser-
tion of two cross battens
about 5 ft. long one at
the end, and the other at
any desired distance from
it, according to the length
8. FRAME FOR
(i) Side boards ; (A) Cross-bar
to keep sides equidistant. (5)
Strings strained tightly from nails
at each end. (E) Reel or bobbin
for twine. (F) showing loop made
of the mat. Four or five
nails or pegs are stuck into
the cross pieces, at equal
distances apart, cord or
tarred twine is then tightly
stretched from one nail to
another. The straw is now taken in handfuls and
spread evenly across the strings on the frame the cut
ends being pushed against the side battens. Sewing
now takes place. A quantity of string or twine is
wound on a bobbin or reel about 6 in. long. The
string is passed over the straw, under the bottom
string, made into a loop knot, and pulled tight, so
that each layer of straw is pressed close up and does
40 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
not exceed three-quarters of an inch in thickness. A
similar tie is made at each string, passing always from
the centre to one side or the other. Handful after
handful of straw is added and sewn in the way
described, until a mat of the required length has been
made. The mat is then detached, and the strings at
each end are knotted up tightly to prevent un-
ravelling. Any ragged edges may be cut with shears
Where an abundance of straw from rye or wheat
is obtainable cheaply, it might well be utilised for
making mats. The chief points to bear in mind are
to add the same quantity of straw each time and
keep it even and regular.
To preserve the mats, they are immersed in a large
wooden bath or cement tank, in which a copper
sulphate solution has been prepared. This solution
is made by dissolving from 6 to 8 Ib. of sulphate of
copper in 22 gallons of water. When well saturated
with the solution, the mats may be taken out and
hung up to dry.
FRAME " TILTS." This is the technical name given
to small blocks of wood, or sometimes brickbats or
flower-pots, used for propping up the
lights of the frames either at the top or
bottom, or on one side or the other. As
more air is given at one time than another
according to the season, the temperature,
FIG. 9. an( j the force of the wind, the tilts, as
used in frames, are usually made with
two or three notches so that much or little air can
be given at will as shown in fig. 9. The tilt may be
used in four different ways : (i) flat on the side,
IMPLEMENTS AND ACCESSORIES 41
(2) on the first notch, (3) on the second notch, and
(4) on the top notch. When the plants are young
and tender the tilt is usually placed on its side. As
the plants increase in size and sturdiness, however, a
little more air may be given, and notches i, 2, and 3
are utilised in turn.
To avoid straining the framework of the lights
when giving air, the tilt should be placed near the
middle of the rail at the side, or at the top or bottom,
instead of being nearer to one end or to one side
than to the other.
Another important point to remember is, not to
tilt the lights on the side facing towards the wind,
but on the side away from it. The wind thus passes
over the frames without causing a cold draught.
Should the lights be raised on the wrong side, the
wind enters freely and causes the leaves to " flag "
or wilt, and they may perhaps receive a check from
which they never recover. Besides, there is another
danger from raising the lights on the wrong side, viz.
that a strong breeze may easily lift the lights from their
position, and break a considerable amount of glass.
It may be as well to mention although it is well
known to practical men that when plants have been
exposed for a week or ten days to the greatest possible
amount of air that can be given by the tilt standing
upright, they will have become so hardened off
that the lights themselves may be taken off altogether
on bright genial days. In addition to experience,
the state of the weather and the season will, however,
guide one as to whether it is safe to leave the lights
off during the night time or not.
CLOCHE TILTS. It is quite as necessary at times
FIG. 11. TILT
to give air to the plants beneath cloches as it is to
those in frames or greenhouses. Special tilts (called
" fourchettes " by the French gardeners) are made
for this. They consist of
a narrow, triangular piece of
wood, about 10 or 12 in.
long, made out of slating
battens or staves, and with a
couple of notches taken out
at right angles on the longer
FIG. 10. TILT
SHOWING side, or hypoteneuse, some-
what as shown in fig. 10.
The pointed end is stuck
into the ground and the cloche is lifted so
that the rim may rest on either the first or second
notch, as shown in fig. 12.
Very often before the cloche is lifted on to the
first notch, when the plants are still very young and
tender, a depression is made
close to the rim, by pressing
the closed fist into the spongy
surface of the bed.
When " air is taken off,"
that is, when the cloches are
let down flat on the bed again,
it is done by placing the index
finger on top of the tilt and
pressing it backwards. The
cloche then drops to the sur-
face by its own weight. In
this way it does not occupy much time to " take
the air off " a few hundred cloches.
If, however, the cloche tilt is badly made, and has
FIG. 12. SHOWING CLOCHE
OVER SEEDLINGS, TILTED
UP ON ONE SIDE FOR AIR.
CLOCHE TILT SHOWN ON
IMPLEMENTS AND ACCESSORIES 43
the notches at any angle less than a right angle, it
will be impossible to take off the air with the finger
only, in the way described. Both hands will have
to be used, and this means considerable waste of time.
A badly-made cloche tilt is shown at fig. n.
The cloches are, naturally, tilted up on the side
away from the wind, and if the tilt is firmly fixed in
the soil, there is little danger of the glasses being
blown about by ordinary breezes. Sometimes, how-
ever, a storm springs up suddenly, and then the
damage to the cloches is likely to be great.
HAND-BARROWS. These are similar to those in
use in English nurseries, but have no legs. They are
useful for carrying lights, etc., in the narrow alleys
between the frames.
MANURE BASKET. Owing to the fact that the
ranges of frames have pathways of a foot or less
between them, it is obvious that a man could not
use an ordinary wheelbarrow between them for
carrying manure or soil. The pathways are narrow
chiefly to economise space (owing to the high rents
in Paris arid the cost of manure), and even the
handles of the lights are on top of the rails in-
stead of the ends, so that another inch or two
of valuable space may be secured. To enable the
gardeners, therefore, to get between the beds and
frames, a peculiar shaped wicker basket called a
" hotte " is used for carrying manure, etc. This
" hotte " (see fig. 13) has almost a straight back,
in front of which are two straps which fit over a
man's shoulders, so that it is carried much in the
same way as a glazier carries his frame and glass,
as shown in fig. 14, These baskets hold quite a
44 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
large quantity of manure more than a wheelbarrow.
While it is being filled, it is placed on a stand called
a "chargeoir" (see fig. 14). This is a tripod, made
of wood or iron, having two upright posts or horns,
one at each end of the platform. This is at a con-
venient height from the ground, so that there is no
FIG. 13. WICKER MANURE FIG. 14. SHOWING MAN ABOUT TO
BASKET WITH STRAPS. CARRY A BASKET CHARGED WITH
MANURE FROM STAND.
necessity for a man to stoop or rise when he wishes
to take the laden basket on his shoulders. He simply
places his back to the basket, arranges the straps over
his shoulders, and marches off to the spot where
the manure is wanted. To march steadily and quickly
in an alley, about a foot wide, between rows of frames,
with a couple of hundredweights of manure on the
back, necessitates a good deal of skill which can
only be acquired by practice. Having reached his
IMPLEMENTS AND ACCESSORIES 45
destination, the workman tilts his basket to the
right or left, and shoots the manure from it almost
exactly in the same way as a coalheaver gets rid
of his sack of coals.
MISCELLANEOUS IMPLEMENTS. In addition to the
above, other tools will be required. Amongst those most
generally useful will be found steel spades, shovels,
dung forks and digging forks, iron rakes (of which the
American pattern is best), dibbers and trowels for
transplanting, line and reel, and other odds and
ends that will suggest themselves from time to time.
THERMOMETERS are almost indispensable in a
" French " garden so that one may see at a glance
whether the temperature is too high or too low for
a specific purpose. Hot-bed or plunge thermometers
are particularly useful, as it is easy, especially for
beginners, to misjudge the heat of a bed and mis-
judgment may mean a serious loss at times.
As all gardeners must constantly keep an eye upon
" the weather, and the setting of the winds," a good
barometer in the house will always be found of the
greatest use, in addition to the thermometers.
WATER-POTS. These indispensable adjuncts to a
garden vary much in shape and size, and those used
in France are built on somewhat different lines from
those used in this country. The French gardeners
prefer water-pots as shown in fig. 15, from which it
will be seen that the strong, curved handle runs
from near the base of the can on one side to the ex-
treme margin on the other. This style of handle
enables the gardener to use two water-pots one in
each hand without having to put them down for
refilling. When carrying water the handle is held
46 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
on top right over the body of the can. When, how-
ever, water is being poured from the spout, the gardener,
with an expert jerk, brings his hands farther back
along the handle. This naturally sends the water
out of the spout with force, and thus the water-pot
in each hand can be emptied without placing it on
the ground. When empty, the cans are slid or jerked
back into a vertical position, and filled and emptied
again in the same way as often as necessary.
FIG. 15. FRENCH WATER-POT WITH SEMI-CIRCULAR HANDLE AND LARGE
" ROSE " TO SPOUT.
The best water-pots are made in copper, and last
a life-time indeed, they almost become heir-looms.
They cost from 255. to 305. a pair, each one holding
about 2j to 3 gallons of water. English growers will
probably prefer their own water-pots, which they
can handle just as dexterously as the Frenchman
The long-handled spades, or shovels, and forks are
not likely to commend themselves to English gardeners
who have been so long accustomed to the loop-handled
tools. They are, however, specially suitable for
IMPLEMENTS AND ACCESSORIES 47
French gardening. It certainly appears much easier
to fill a manure-basket with a long-handled fork than
with a short one, and the long-handled spade or shovel
is a convenience when filling the frames with soil.
Under ordinary conditions the proper application
of water to the roots of plants requires a good deal of
care and judgment, as every professional gardener
knows. When, however, plants are grown under
forced conditions under cloches and lights on hot-beds,
it is more than ever essential that watering should
be done carefully and judiciously. All plants do not
absorb water from the soil at the same rate. The
roots of some kinds are much more active than those
of others ; consequently, the gardener must have this
knowledge " at the back of his head " whenever he
waters his crops. The temperature, both outside and
inside the frames and cloches, must be taken into
account, also the particular period of the year, and the
weather actually prevailing at the time. Sometimes
an abundance of water will be given, but on other
occasions perhaps a mere sprinkling overhead will
suffice for the same crops. Over-watering i.e. giving
too much must be just as carefully avoided as under-
watering, or not giving sufficient when the plants need
it. In the case of over- watering the soil or mould is
apt to become sour and sodden, fresh air is excluded,
the tender roots perish through suffocation or absence
of oxygen, or the lower leaves are attacked with some
fungoid disease which sets up rapid discoloration and
decay throughout the entire plant. On the other
48 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
hand, a lack of water at the roots causes the leaves to
droop or " flag," in which condition they are unable
to assimilate even the small amount of carbonic acid
gas floating in the atmosphere, or to perform their
other functions properly. The result may be to induce
the plants to " bolt " into flower prematurely. To
strike the happy medium, therefore, is the constant
aim of the cultivator, and this can only be done by
exercising his intellectual faculties and making use
of the knowledge he has already acquired.
WATERING IN WINTER. So far as early crops or
" primeurs " of Carrots, Radishes, Lettuces, Cauli-
flowers, etc., are concerned, no water, as water, is
actually applied to the hot-beds on which they are
raised or growing from January to March. These
early crops secure sufficient moisture from the damp,
hot manure beneath them, and this obtains its supplies
by capillary attraction from the rains that run into
the narrow pathways from the lights. It thus becomes
necessary to open the lights only when absolutely
needful, and the danger of chilling the plants by cold
water is thus avoided during the coldest period of
In the spring and early summer, and then onwards
during the growing season, the application of water
becomes an important feature in the day's work.
Generally speaking, it is best to give water either in
the mornings before ten o'clock, or in the afternoon
after three, four, or five o'clock, according to circum-
stances and convenience. Watering should always be
avoided during the middle of the day when the sun is
very hot. Tender-leaved plants especially are liable
to be severely scorched and spoiled by having water
upon them at this time, especially if any happen to
be under a cloche or light, as the glass in either case
acts as a lens, and concentrates the rays of the sun
upon certain portions of the leaf surface.
When crops are well established and in full growth
during the summer months, water is applied freely
by means of a hose attached to the nozzle of a stand-
pipe. Standpipes should be fixed about every 20 or
30 ft. to the 2 in. or 3 in. water-pipes running under-
ground along the main pathways. This enables one
to attach the hose to the nozzle of the most con-
venient standpipe, and if the latter is provided with a
good screw-valve, the flow and force of water can be
In French market-gardens an ingenious contrivance
is used to prevent long lengths of hose from trailing
over the plants in the beds or frames. An iron stand,
something like the capital letter H in shape, is pressed
into the soil at the corner of a bed or row of frames.
On the two upper arms, and on the cross-piece, is a
movable metal reel. The hose-pipe rests on the cross-
piece, and as it is pulled along, its progress is made
easy by the movement of the reels. In this way, no
matter how sharp the turn or bend, the hose-pipe does
not " kink," and the free flow of water is in no way
Under the headings of the various crops mentioned
in this book instructions are given as to sowing the
seeds in each instance. It may be well, however, to
speak of seed-sowing in general a little more fully
50 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Seeds vary much in size, shape, and colour, but
most of those we are dealing with may be described
as " small " the only large ones of any note being
those of the Dwarf or French, and Haricot Beans.
No matter how small a seed may be, it contains
all the rudiments of the future plant tightly packed
away within its protecting coats. So long as the seed
is alive and has been properly ripened, it possesses
all the powers of germination or sprouting. It is a
matter of common knowledge, however, that certain
conditions are essential to induce seeds of any kind
to germinate. These are : (i) a certain degree of
warmth, according to the natural requirements of the
species ; (2) moisture ; and (3) fresh air. When these
conditions exist in conjunction with a properly
prepared compost, we have everything essential for
the good germination of seeds.
Even with these conditions there is a danger that
young plants may never appear if the seeds are sown
improperly. This danger arises only when the seeds
are buried too deeply in the soil. One must, therefore,
be careful that the smaller the seeds are the less deeply
should they be sown ; in other words, they must not
be covered with too much soil. A good general rule
amongst gardeners when sowing seeds in warmth is
to cover them with a layer of soil equal to twice their
own diameter. Some tiny seeds, therefore, are prac-
tically not covered at all, as they sink sufficiently deep
into the miniature holes in the surface of the prepared
compost after a gentle watering has been given.
Seeds sown in the open air in early spring, or in autumn,
however, may be covered rather more heavily as a
protection against cold nights or frosts.
It is obvious that if the seeds are not to be covered
with too much soil, the beds upon which they are
sown must be carefully prepared, and the particles
of soil must be rendered sufficiently fine by passing
through a sieve. In addition to this, the seed-bed
must be made firm by pressing down with a piece of
board, or even by treading down with the feet, after-
wards finishing off the surface as level as possible
by passing a straight-edged board over it, and even by
patting it down gently with the flat side. The seeds
are thus prevented from sinking too deeply into the
soil, and when they germinate the seed-leaves soon
reach the light and air from which they draw their
food and energy.
Whether the seeds are to be sown in tiny furrows,
called " drills/' or scattered more or less evenly over
the surface " broadcast," depends upon circumstances.
As a rule such root crops as Carrots and Turnips are
sown in " drills," while Radishes may be sown in
drills, or broadcast, or even in patches between other
crops. The different ways in which the various seeds
are to be sown are mentioned under each particular
In " intensive " cultivation it is essential to sow
seeds evenly and thinly as a rule, to save trouble
later on, although it is generally permissible to sow
much thicker than in the open ground.
THINNING OUT. With crops like Carrots, Turnips,
and Radishes that are grown for their " roots," it is
detrimental to lift the seedlings and transplant them
to another place. All the roots would be spoiled by
doing so ; they would become " fanged " or " forked,"
instead of being symmetrically shaped, owing chiefly
52 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
to the original tap-root being injured by moving, no
matter how carefully done. Such root-crops, therefore,
are allowed to mature in the spot where the seeds are
sown. If the young plants, however, are too close
together, they suffer sooner or later, owing to lack
of air and light. Hence it becomes necessary to pull
out the weakest seedlings, thus allowing more root
space and air space for the sturdier plants. This is
called " thinning out."
PRICKING OUT. Crops that are not grown for their
roots, but for their heads, such as Cauliflowers, Lettuces,
Cabbages, etc., are generally moved from the bed
in which the seeds are sown. This moving is an
advantage, as more root fibres and consequently
more feeding agents are thus produced, and more
nourishment is absorbed in a given time from the
soil than would be the case with an unmoved plant.
In " intensive " cultivation, French market-
gardeners do not leave their seedlings so long in
the seed-bed as is customary in England. Soon after
the first true leaves appear beyond the seed-leaves,
or cotyledons, the baby seedlings are " pricked out "
into prepared beds, either in frames or under cloches.
They are then gently watered, shaded from strong
sunshine for two or three days, during which period
also no outer air is admitted. This method ensures
the more rapid establishment of the young plants,
which consequently come earlier to a state of maturity.
When French gardeners are pricking out seedlings
of Lettuces, Cauliflowers, etc., on the soft beds, they
rarely use a dibber or stick. The index-finger is used
instead for making holes in the compost, and it is
astonishing how rapidly seedling after seedling is
put into its place and made firm with the fingers.
The French gardener literally carries a dibber at
the tips of his fingers, and he nearly always inserts
the plant right up to lower leaves or seed-leaves.
TRANSPLANTING. Sometimes as will be noted from
time to time in the following pages seedlings are
moved a second time before they are placed in their
final positions. In such cases, however, they are
considerably larger, and the roots will have branched
further into the soil in all directions. Under these
conditions, each plant is carefully lifted with a " ball
of soil " attached to the roots. It is then placed in
position with the aid of a trowel the lower leaves
just on the surface of the ground and the new soil
is pressed firmly round the base of the plant and
SHADING AND VENTILATION
These two operations almost go hand in hand,
and a good deal of common sense is necessary to
enable the gardener to know exactly when to do one
or the other or both.
As a rule, young seedlings that are just pricked
out or transplanted are shaded from strong sunshine
by covering the lights or cloches with mats. At this
particular period, when the plants have been more
or less injured at the roots by lifting, it is advisable
to check the evaporation of moisture or vapour from
the millions of minute breathing pores on ithe surfaces
of the leaves. As evaporation goes on more rapidly
in sunlight and in a dry atmosphere than it does
in the shade and in a moist atmosphere, it is obvious
54 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
that the latter conditions are most likely to help
plants, as the injured roots for the time being are
unable to suck up moisture from the surrounding
soil. These injured roots, however, soon heal up
under normal conditions, and masses of new fibres
develop behind the injured tips of the older roots.
In this way, after the temporary check, the plants
are really better off than they were before, by having
more feeding roots, and the effect is soon apparent
by the way the leaves stand up, and by the develop-
ment of fresh growths. When the gardener sees this
he knows the plants have established themselves in
their new home. Therefore he removes the shading
material, except perhaps when he considers the sun
to be still too powerful.
When freshly moved seedlings are shaded from
the sun, the frames or cloches also are shut down
tightly. In this way the moisture or vapour arising
from the soil is prevented from escaping. It is kept
in the air immediately round the leaves and stems
of the young plants, and thus prevents the sap in the
tissues from being given off freely into the atmosphere.
When the lights and cloches are kept shut down in
the way described, the plants are said to be kept
" close " meaning that the outer air is not allowed
to circulate freely about them for a certain time.
Once, however, the plants are again in a growing
condition, or have " picked up " as gardeners say,
it is essential to allow them as much air and light
as possible, consistent with the necessary warmth
and moisture. Otherwise they would become weak
and lanky " drawn," as the saying is and the
tissues would be so soft, tender, and flabby, that the
SHADING AND VENTILATION 55
plants would be quite useless for any purpose-
scarcely fit for rabbit food even.
When growing Lettuces, Cauliflowers, Carrots,
Radishes and other crops mentioned in the following
pages under lights or cloches, the gardener will at
once recognise the great importance of giving light
and air at exactly the right moments, in accordance
with the instructions given ; and in doing so he
must always take the state of the weather into account.
By using the tilts (see figs. 9 to 12) for lights and
cloches, or even bricks or blocks of wood, as much
or as little air may be given as desired. On very
cold days, perhaps only a " crack " of air, as gardeners
say, is given by placing the tilts on the lowest notch
or on the thinnest side ; and even then perhaps no
air will be given until near mid-day just for an
hour or so according to climatic conditions. On
other occasions, such as a bright balmy morning, air
may be given quite early, and perhaps the cloches
or lights will be opened to the full extent of the tilts
used. This is called " putting on full air."
Whether much or little air is given, it is always
advisable, as already stated, to note the direction of
the wind. The tilt is then placed on the opposite
side of the cloche or light, so that the draught does
not blow directly on to the tender heads of the plants,
but passes over them without causing a chill, and
a possible check to the growth.
COMBINATION AND ROTATION CROPS
One of the most interesting and striking features
of intensive cultivation is the way in which the same
56 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
piece of ground is made to carry several crops in
the course of a season. The crops are generally
dissimilar in vegetation, and to secure the best results
quick-growing plants are grown with those of a slower
development. Thus it is usual to sow Early Radishes
and Carrots on the same bed, and to plant Lettuces
over them. The Radishes germinate quickly and
do not interfere with the slower-growing Carrots, as
they are taken off before the latter reach any size.
The Lettuces on the same bed have grown into sale-
able produce in the meantime, and when they are
gathered, the Carrots then have the soil, air, and
light to themselves but very often the borders of
the beds are planted with Cauliflowers, which mature
after the Carrots have been pulled.
Even in the open air this system of combination
crops is generally practised. I have seen in the
neighbourhood of Vitry ground covered with Lettuces
and Endives in various stages of growth, and between
the rows quick catch-crops like Spinach and Radishes
have been sown. Before these attain any great
height, the other crops will have been taken off the
In the following pages numerous examples of
combination crops, and intercropping, are given,
and there can be no doubt that, practised judiciously,
the system has much to recommend it. At no season
of the year need the ground be without a crop of some
The principle underlying the " rotation of crops "
is also carried out regularly in gardens devoted to
intensive cultivation. Thus, the ground which this
year, perhaps, is carrying crops of Carrots, Cauli-
COMBINATION AND ROTATION CROPS 57
flowers, Lettuces, Radishes, Endives, Spinach, etc., etc.,
will be utilised next year for the production of Melons,
and open-air crops generally, and vice versa. In
this way a certain portion of the garden is always
more or less exposed to the weather, and is kept
" sweet " and in good condition for other crops, by
the fresh air circulating amongst its particulars.
THE VEGETABLE MARKET IN PARIS
In a volume devoted to the French system of garden-
ing, it may not be out of place to refer to the produce
that is sent to the markets of the French capital. The
differences in taste and custom between the French
and English peoples naturally result in totally different
kinds of fruits and vegetables being grown for com-
mercial purposes. What the French market -gardener
therefore finds to be a remunerative crop in his own
market, the English grower would most likely discover
to be a drug in Covent Garden, or in any of the large
provincial markets in the kingdom. From the follow-
ing remarks of mine, in the American Florist, the
reader may readily see how very different the vegetable
produce in the Paris market is from that generally
sent to Covent Garden :
" Almost in the centre of Paris on the north bank
of the Seine, and opposite the famous church of St.
Eustache, are to be found the famous markets of
Paris known as the Halles Centrales. Meat, fish,
poultry, fruits, flowers and vegetables are all to be
found beneath the roof of the famous building erected
by Baltard in 1874, which embraces altogether an area
of about 22 acres. To see the markets at their best,
58 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
a visit should be paid about five o'clock in the morning.
Amongst horticultural produce, the vegetables seem
to be of far more importance here than either the
fruits or flowers. Most of the business in the vegetable
market is done by women, and row after row of stalls
are laden with produce sent in from the market-gardens
all round the city.
" There is a general similarity between the Halles
Centrales and Co vent Garden, London, so far as noise,
bustle, and activity are concerned, but there is a great
difference in the produce displayed for sale. Vegetables
that one rarely sees in Co vent Garden, such as Au-
bergines, Butter Beans, Black Radishes, Haricots
Verts, Cantaloup Melons, etc., are greatly in evidence
in Paris, and it is evident that a flourishing trade is
done in produce that would probably fail to find a
customer in London. Salads always constitute a
large proportion of the vegetable market in Paris,
where, of course, the marketing is largely in the hands
of the mothers and daughters of the various families
who deal direct with the growers.
" At the time of my last visit to the Central Markets
I was particularly struck with the large quantities of
Globe Artichokes on sale. They were on every stall,
and were selling for about 6d. to is. a dozen heads.
Mushrooms also were in fair abundance and were
realising about 8d. to gd. per pound. A rather long
tapering turnip known as ' Croissy ' was in great
abundance, and although it has been grown by Parisian
market-gardeners for several generations, it is still
considered one of the best all-round varieties.
Radishes, the small red varieties with white tips, were
of course in evidence everywhere, and they looked so
THE VEGETABLE MARKET IN PARIS 59
nice and fresh and enticing that it is no wonder they
sell in enormous quantities. The Melons of the
Cantaloup Prescott variety were on almost every
stall, but they were cheap in comparison with what
they had realised earlier in the season. Indeed, the
street hawkers had barrow-loads of these Melons
which they sold in portions at the rate of 2d. or $d.
a pound to passers-by during August.
" Carrots, the short stump-rooted varieties, are
always great favourites in Paris, while there was also
an abundance of Golden Celery, Cauliflowers, Sorrel,
Garlic, Endive, and Lettuces. I was rather struck
with the quantity of small green Vegetable Marrows
offered for sale. The fruits were not more than 6
or 7 in. long and were obviously as fresh as
they could well be. I was informed that they sold
remarkably well, as also did the small Prickly Cu-
cumbers known as ' cornichons.' White-fruited
Cucumbers were fairly conspicuous, and as they are
not extensively grown, they realise fairly good prices.
The long green-fruited Cucumbers are, however, the
most highly appreciated. The Black Radishes, which
look like intermediate carrots or Croissy turnips that
have been smothered in soot, cannot fail to attract
attention. All over Paris these curious-looking
vegetables were to be seen in the greengrocers' shops."
EXTENSION OF THE FRENCH SYSTEM
Although the French system of intensive cultivation
is regarded as being confined to the production of
vegetables and salads, there is no reason why the
60 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
cloches and frames in use may not be turned to good
account in connection with other crops. From the
nature of the implements, it is obvious that short-
stemmed or dwarf-growing crops are likely to lend
themselves successfully to the treatment, and the
following may be regarded chiefly in the light of
I. Strawberries. Amongst important fruits, Straw-
berries may be looked upon as being particularly
suited for growing under lights or cloches to produce
early crops. At present these are grown in pots in
greenhouses, close to the glass, and require considerable
time and attention in regard to watering, syringing,
regulation of temperature, and keeping free from
mildew. Grown under cloches, or in beds that will
accommodate the frames and lights used for salads, it
would be possible to secure early crops of Strawberries
in spring from young plantations without going to
the trouble of lifting the plants and potting them in
the autumn. For instance, in the case of beds, it
would be possible after placing the frames and lights
over the plants, to fill in the pathways with manure
from which heat would be generated in the frames in
accordance with the requirements of the season. A
certain amount of the short, warm manure could also
be worked in between the rows of plants without
disturbing the roots, and when the fruits were swelling,
a layer of clean litter could be added for the sake of
cleanliness. In this way the Strawberries would come
into bearing more quickly, and watering and ventilation
could be attended to without inconvenience. Once
the fruits are gathered, the frames and lights, and
manure in the pathways, may be used for other pur-
EXTENSION OF THE FRENCH SYSTEM 61
poses. Of course Strawberries grown in pots could
also be forced in the frames if necessary.
Cloches would be found useful for placing over the
crowns of the Strawberry plants, if these were planted
in three angled rows in the same way as Lettuces, as
shown in fig. 41. Each plant would have a cloche
to itself, and in cold weather warm manure could be
packed in between and around the glasses to keep the
plants warm. Later on, when the weather became
warmer, it might be possible to have a Cos or Cabbage
Lettuce planted in the spaces between the cloches ;
and these would probably be useful afterwards for
placing over the Lettuces, according to the season.
2. Tomatoes. In most parts of the kingdom it is
dangerous to place Tomato plants in the open air till
the end of May or early in June, owing to the frosts
and cold nights. If, however, hot-beds of the regula-
tion width to accommodate three rows of cloches were
prepared, and a gentle heat from the manure were
secured, it would be quite possible to sow Tomato
seeds under a cloche or two as early as January or
February, in the gritty mould that would be placed
over the manure. The strongest plants would be
pricked out in due course, and after becoming estab-
lished, air would be given more or less freely by tilting
the cloches on all favourable occasions. This would
keep the young plants sturdy and actively growing at
the same time. If by chance they grew too tall for
the cloches before it was safe to dispense with the
latter (one being placed under each as soon as possible),
the glasses could be raised on three tilts, bricks, or
blocks of wood, in the way described for Cucumbers
at p. 128, When frost is no longer feared, the cloches
62 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
may be dispensed with, and the plants will continue
to develop and ripen their fruits without having to
undergo the usual check to the roots caused by moving.
The plants, of course, should be staked, and during
the season all the side shoots (" laterals ") from the
main stems should be pinched out when they appear.
Only four trusses of flowers should be allowed to
set their fruits. The tops should be cut off about
two leaves beyond the upper truss of flowers. The
leaves, however, should not be cut off or mutilated
in any way, except when they turn yellow at the base
of the plant.
3. Early Potatoes. Where these are valued it ought
not to be difficult to secure a good crop early in
the year, with the aid of cloches and frames, and
warm manure, the operations being much the same as
described for Tomatoes except, of course, that tubers
instead of seeds are being dealt with.
4. Marrows. These are an important crop when
the fruits can be secured early in the season. The
Bush Marrows, as well as the creeping kinds, might
be very easily established early in the year in the
following way : About February, or early in March,
dig out a few spadefuls of soil where each plant is to
grow. The hole thus made should be filled with a
layer about a foot thick of hot manure, and covered
with about 6 in. of nice, rich, gritty mould. When
the rank heat, if any, has subsided and the temperature
is about 70 to 75 Fahr., two or three Marrow seeds
should be sown about 2 in. deep in the centre of
each little bed, and after being watered in, should be
covered with a cloche. As many little hot-beds as are
required can be made in this way, allowing enough
EXTENSION OF THE FRENCH SYSTEM 63
space between each for the development of the plants
later on. After germination air is given as freely as
possible, considering the weather, and by the middle
or end of May, or before that period in many parts,
it will be possible to remove the cloches altogether.
Attention to copious waterings and pinching the shoots
afterwards constitute the chief cultural details to
secure an abundance of early Marrows.
5. Mint. This is another useful and highly ap-
preciated crop when it comes in with the early Potatoes
and Green Peas. It could be grown quite easily in the
hot-beds in the frames, and could be forced into tender
growth as early as required by lining the frames with
warm manure if necessary.
6. Rhubarb. Where one can draw upon a planta-
tion of Rhubarb, clumps may be lifted for forcing
from December till the end of March, as the young
and highly coloured leaved-stalks often realise good
prices at this period of the year. For lifted clumps
the process of forcing is almost precisely the same
as described at p. 76 for the production of green
Asparagus, the one essential difference being that
the Rhubarb should be grown in the dark. Rhubarb
may also be forced without lifting, in the same way
as described for White Asparagus (see p. 73). The
varieties called "Linnaeus," "Champagne," and
" Myatt's Victoria " are the best for forcing.
7. Violets. Passing to flowers, perhaps the single-
flowered and double-flowered varieties of Violets may
be regarded as a good commercial crop early in the
season, owing to their delicious fragrance. The general
custom is to lift the clumps early in autumn and
replant in frames of rich soil. This operation might
64 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
be carried out in the same way with hot-beds, but later
in the year altogether. It would also be possible to
have the Violet-beds arranged so that they could be
easily covered with frames and lights, or cloches,
without the plants being moved at all. Indeed, the
treatment described for obtaining early Strawberries
(see p. 60) might be carried out with advantage in the
cultivation of early Violets ; and with good annual
mulchings of manure and plenty of water when
required the plants would continue to yield large crops
of blossoms for years.
8. Christmas Roses (Helleborus niger). During
December and January large numbers of these pure
white blossoms find their way to market and are highly
appreciated. To secure these, the clumps have to
be lifted and carried into a warm greenhouse to open
their blossoms. If, however, the beds on which they
are grown were to be only the width of the frames
and lights, it would be an easy matter to force them
into early blossom by filling up the pathways between
the frames with hot manure, in the same way as for
Strawberries (p. 60). With cloches, however, it would
be possible to cover each crown, and place the manure
between. As great heat is not necessary, the Christmas
Rose seems to be particularly well suited for this
system of cultivation.
9. Miscellaneous. Several other popular plants,
such as early Tulips, Lilies of the Valley, Primroses,
Polyanthuses, Auriculas, Forget-me-Nots, etc., might
be brought earlier into blossom if desired by the
judicious use of frames and cloches.
During July and August, when the lights and cloches
are usually stacked away in heaps and piles in French
EXTENSION OF THE FRENCH SYSTEM 65
gardens, many of them might be utilised for the
propagation of Roses and other beautiful, shrubby
plants from the half-ripened summer shoots. Indeed,
it is possible, with the enormous varieties of plants
now in cultivation, that there are many different ways
still unthought of, to which the use of the frame and
cloche may be extended. It should, however, be
borne in mind that excursions into these other branches
of gardening would necessitate more land, labour, etc.,
and the results might not be worth the trouble in
SPECIAL CULTURES DESCRIBED
IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
IN this portion of the work the various methods of
culture practised in French gardens is detailed. Each
crop is dealt with separately, so that its special needs
may not be overlooked. While the functions of all
green-leaved plants are the same, it is important
for the gardener to bear in mind that many modifi-
cations of general principles are rendered necessary
according to the period of the year at which he desires
his crops to mature. Thus, what may be perfectly
sound practice in January and December, may be
quite erroneous in June and July. The state of the
weather and the various seasons must always be
taken into account, and conditions have to be modified
almost with every rise and fall in the barometer.
Rain, snow, hail, frost, sun, and wind all have im-
portant influences on vegetation, and the intelligent
cultivator must keep a steady eye on these to see
that his special cultures are in no way adversely
affected. He must be, in fact, a kind of weather-
prophet and be able to gauge climatic changes with
a fair amount of accuracy if he is to succeed.
GLOBE ARTICHOKES 67
There are many varieties of Globe Artichokes
(Cynara Scolymus), but the Parisian market-gardeners
prefer the one called Gros Vert de Laon. Another
variety, called Camus de Bretagne, is grown in Brittany,
and is often eaten in an uncooked state. Other kinds
are grown in the middle and south of France that
would be quite unsuitable for either a Parisian or
Globe Artichokes may be raised from seeds, but
are more generally increased by carefully detaching
suckers from the old roots in March or April. The
suckers are planted in a warm bed, and if kept watered
as required, they soon make nice plants fit for the
.open air. The soil should be rich, deeply dug, and
well manured. During the summer months the
plants should be given plenty of water at the roots
if particularly fine heads are desired. This, coupled
with abundance of manure and the frequent use of
the hoe, constitute the chief features of cultural
Although not grown in England at present to such
an extent as in France, there is no reason why the
taste for the floral bracts of the Globe Artichoke
should not increase.
When it is desired to force the plants, the operation
is performed much in the same way as described
for Asparagus (see p. 76). The plants are taken up
carefully in November, and placed in a hot-bed, the
heat of which is maintained, if necessary, by lining
the frames with hot manure.
68 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Although each year Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis]
is becoming more and more popular in the British
Islands, its consumption is chiefly confined to those
who are in no danger of receiving an old age pension
from the Government. In France it is otherwise.
Almost every one, even the cottager, eats Asparagus
and such Asparagus ! thick, succulent, well-flavoured
That fine Asparagus can be grown in the British
Islands there is no doubt whatever. It is not a
matter of soil and climate. In either respect we are
quite as well off as our French brethren. It is simply
a question of careful attention to the minor details
of cultivation that enables the French gardener to
produce, even on comparatively poor soil, some of
the finest Asparagus in the world. There are three
methods of growing Asparagus in French gardens, the
culture on a large scale of course being carried on
quite apart from that of early salads and vegetables.
First of all, there is what is known as " white " or
" blanched " Asparagus ; then " green " Asparagus ;
after which comes the " Argenteuil " Asparagus.
White Asparagus. Raising the Plants. To secure
good Asparagus it is essential in the first place to
obtain seeds of a good strain from a reliable source.
The roots that produce clean, thick, well-formed shoots,
terminating in a good point that colours easily, are
those from which seeds should be saved when ripe.
The best variety for the purpose is Early Argenteuil.
The seeds are sown about thejniddle of January on a
nicely prepared hot-bed under lights, and sufficiently
thick to allow of a second selection being made
When the young plants are a few inches high, the
very best are selected and carefully pricked out in
another frame 2 or 3 in. apart. This will admit
about three or four hundred plants under each light.
After a gentle watering, the young plants are kept
" close " for a few days, after which a little air may
be given on all fine days. As the season advances,
more and more air may be given, until at length,
say about May, the lights may be taken off. altogether
when frosts are no longer feared. Previous to this,
care must be taken to protect the plants from frost
during the night by spreading mats or litter over the
lights when necessary.
Planting. About the middle of July these young
plants will be ready for planting in their final quarters.
At this period it will be easy to distinguish the finest-
looking plants ; and these only should be chosen for
the plantation. To secure a sufficient supply, it is
necessary to sow larger quantities of seed and to
prick out more plants than are actually needed, so
that there may be no difficulty in making a good
selection the first year.
Experienced growers have remarked that clumps
which produce thin shoots at first continue to do so
year after year. Such shoots are produced more
freely than the larger and more succulent ones, it is
true ; but one fat shoot is more highly valued than
five thin ones. Besides, there is more sense in growing
the best and most saleable shoots, as their cultivation
entails no more attention than the poorer kinds.
70 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
The soil in which the Asparagus plants are to be
placed should if possible be light, rich, deeply trenched
and well manured in advance. It should also slope
more or less towards the south so as to receive the
full benefit from the sun.
Intercropping. The ground between the young
plants is not left idle. Short Carrots, Lettuces,
Spinach, Corn Salad, Radishes, or any other dwarf
and quick-growing crop may be grown between the
rows without the slightest danger to the Asparagus.
Even Cabbages and Cauliflowers may be grown on the
edges of each bed, and in the pathways between them
each crop, of course, at its proper season. The
necessary hoeings and waterings that must be given
these crops, instead of being detrimental to the young
Asparagus, are in reality of great benefit, so much
so that very often they make as much progress in
one season as Asparagus plants grown in the ordinary
way in the open air do in two or three seasons.
After the plants have flowered, no seed capsules are
allowed to form, as they exhaust a certain amount of
reserve material from the tissues. About the end of
October or in November the stems are cut down
within an inch or two of the soil, the surface of which
is hoed or lightly pricked up with the fork. A good
layer of fine rich soil is then spread over the bed, and
on this again a good layer of manure. Each autumn
this work is renewed to give a fresh supply of nourish-
ment to the roots.
As the plants will be ready for forcing at the end
of two years' growth, although it is better to wait till
the end of the third year, it is advisable to mark out
the beds wide enough to accommodate the frames
and lights which are to go over them. The length
of these beds will, of course, be determined according
to the extent of the ground or the requirements of
the grower. As a rule the beds are 4 ft. 5 in.
in width, as this is the usual size of the frames and
lights used. The beds should run lengthways from
east to west, so that the lights will slope towards the
south ; and it will be found more convenient if each
bed does not exceed 100 ft. in length.
Between one Asparagus bed and another a pathway
FIG. 16. FORCING ASPARAGUS IN FRAMES.
about 2 ft. or 2 ft. 6 in. in width should be left
(see fig. 1 6).
Having marked out the Asparagus beds by lines
or pegs, about a foot of soil is taken off the surface
of the first one, and wheeled to the end of the last
bed. The trench thus made is then filled in with
a mixture of good horse and cow manure, and, if
possible, a little night soil all of which should have
been prepared three or four weeks beforehand, and
should be in a half-decomposed and homogeneous
condition. In " light " soils the quantity of cow
manure may be increased a little, but in " heavy "
soils the horse manure should predominate. With this
manure many growers mix also old rags, horn-shavings,
72 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
shoddy, etc. taking care, however, not to add too
much. The manure in the trenches having been
trodden down well with the feet, so that it is about
a foot thick, about 6 or 8 in. of soil from the ad-
joining bed is then spread evenly over the surface.
Four rows are marked out in the bed lengthways.
The two outer rows are about 8 in. from each
margin, the two centre ones being about 13 in.
apart. If wider or narrower frames are used the
distance between the rows would be regulated accord-
ingly ; but in any case it would be necessary to keep
the two outer rows at least 8 or 9 in. away from
the edges of the beds.
Transplanting. Everything being now ready, so
far as the beds are concerned, one may proceed to
lift the young plants from the bed in which they were
pricked out from the seed-bed. It may be advisable,
however, to give them a good soaking an hour or
two beforehand so that they may be lifted more
easily and with some soil still adhering to the roots.
Having lifted them carefully with a fork, a selection
of the very best plants is again made. From twelve
to twenty " crowns " or clumps may be placed in
each light although sixteen is recommended as the
If the frames have not been placed in position
before the actual planting, it will be necessary to
allow more space between the plants at the end of
one frame and the beginning of the next. For this
reason it is perhaps advisable to place the frames
temporarily in position as soon as the beds have been
made. One can then arrange the plants in the rows
so that the Asparagus crowns do not come directly
under the division or sash bars, but are properly
placed beneath the glass itself.
In the spot where each plant is to be placed, a
little heap of soil is made with the hands, so as to
fill the cavity on the under-side of the crown, and
permit the roots being spread out in all directions
from the centre. After this, it is only necessary to
cover the crowns with fine rich soil to a depth of 3
or 4 in., and then give the whole a good soaking with
The young plants soon commence to make new
growths, and only require to be kept free from weeds,
in addition to which the stems should be tied up to
sticks if necessary.
Forcing White Asparagus. When the young plants
have finished their second or preferably their third
season of growth, they will be sufficiently strong to
stand being forced into early growth. This takes
place from November to February, although some
growers commence as early as the middle of October.
The work is carried out as follows : Having placed
the frames on the beds which are to be forced, a
layer of fine rich soil and old manure is spread over
the plants. The pathways are then dug out to a
depth of 12 to 18 in. The soil thus obtained is
broken up into a fine condition with the spade or
the fork, and is spread evenly over the mould in
the frames to a depth of 10 or 12 in. This is done
to secure longer and finer stalks later on.
The sunken pathways are now filled up with good
fresh manure that has been turned over two or three
times in advance. This manure should reach to the
top of the frames and lights, and after being trodden
74 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
down, it should be well watered so as to accelerate
the generation of heat.
Before placing the lights on the frames the soil
should be watered if inclined to be dry, and even a
layer of manure may be spread over the beds to
hasten the growth of the Asparagus. Care, however,
should be taken to remove this manure as soon as the
tender shoots appear above the surface of the soil.
During the period of growth a temperature of 60
to 70 Fahr. should be maintained, but no air whatever
is given. Watering is, however, attended to when
necessary, as a humid atmosphere is essential to secure
the best results.
Every ten days or a fortnight the frames should
be banked up or " lined " with large or small quantities
of fresh manure according to the state of the weather,
the object being to maintain an even temperature
within the frames.
Light is excluded during the daytime with mats ; and
during the night-time the lights must also be covered
with one or more mats according to the state of the
weather. The temperature inside the frames should
never fall below 55 Fahr., otherwise the shoots will
be attacked with " rust " and become unsaleable.
Under these conditions fine shoots of Asparagus will
be ready at the end of twenty to twenty-five days
after forcing has commenced, and then cutting may
take place every two or three days until the crop is
exhausted, which takes place in from four to six weeks.
After each cutting it is a good plan to stand the
shoots in clean water, and place them in a cellar for
a short time so that the tips may become tinged
When the crop is finished, the beds and linings of
manure may be left untouched for several days to
allow the heat to subside gradually, and also so that
the plants may not be exposed too suddenly from a
high to a low temperature. The frames and lights
are then taken off, the manure from the pathways is
utilised for dressing the ground for other vegetables,
and the upper soil from the beds is returned to the
pathways from which it was originally taken.
In practice, it is found more economical to force two
beds of Asparagus running parallel than one, as the
hot manure in the pathway then serves to heat both
beds at the same time, and also to supply moisture by
capillary attraction. To secure a succession of produce
to the end of the season, an interval of from four to
six weeks may be allowed between each bed, or group
of beds, to be forced.
As a rule only half the beds are forced one year, so
that the other half shall have a rest, thus allowing the
plants to recover from the strain placed upon them
by the forcing process.
Summer Treatment. During the summer months
the plants that have been forced are allowed to grow
naturally without further picking, while those that are
to be forced the following year are also allowed to
grow naturally and without being cut.
Treated in this way Asparagus beds made in the
way described will continue to yield good crops for
twelve to fifteen years of what is known as " white "
or " blanched " Asparagus.
Green Asparagus. The plants^ [used for the pro-
duction of " green " Asparagus should be at least
two, if not three, years old, to secure the best results.
76 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
These may be raised from seeds and transplanted in
the way already described at p. 72, remembering that
a good annual top-dressing of manure in the autumn
or early winter months is necessary. A few good
soakings during^dry seasons are also advisable, and
care should be taken to have the tall stems staked
up before they begin to lie upon the ground.
When raising plants in this way for forcing later on,
no young shoots whatever must be cut from them, as
it is essential to develop strong, sturdy crowns with as
many growths as possible. Of course each autumn
the flowering stems are cut down to the ground, except
the last year, when the crowns are to be forced. Then
it is better to leave a few inches of the stems showing
well above the soil to indicate the exact position of
the plants, and to render the lifting as easy as possible.
Forcing " Green " Asparagus. Forcing is practised
from the middle of September till the beginning of
March. The clumps or crowns are carefully lifted with
a flat-tined fork, and are placed side by side on a few
inches of rich mould that has previously been spread
over the prepared hot-bed, or in a heated frame or
Each season large growers of Asparagus advertise
two or three year-old crowns, for forcing purposes, at
reasonable rates, so there is realty no necessity for
the intensive cultivator to devote time, labour, and
land to the development of the plants.
When a bed is used for forcing, it is made up of
good manure until it is 2 to 3 ft. thick, and developing
a temperature of 70 to 80 Fahr. An excellent
hot-bed may be made from equal parts of fresh stable
manure, old manure, and cow manure all of which
should be well mixed together, and watered if inclined
to be dry.
The frames are placed on the beds when ready,
and the pathways between are filled half-way up with
manure. On the surface of each bed 2 to 3 in.
of mould is spread, so that the roots of the Asparagus
shall not come in direct contact with the manure,
and so that their growth shall be hastened without
running the risk of being burned.
When the heat of the bed has sunk to 70 or 80
Fahr., the Asparagus crowns are placed side by side
without having the roots shortened or mutilated in
any way. The larger and taller clumps are placed
near the top of the frame, and the smallest towards
the bottom, and from 500 to 600 crowns can be packed
in under each light, according to their size. When
arranging the clumps it is important that the tops
should be at the same distance from the glass, sloping
gradually from top to bottom with the fall of the
lights. Some fine rich and gritty mould is then care-
fully worked in between the crowns, and washed down
amongst the roots with plenty of water ; after which
some of the same mould should be spread over the
tops of the crowns to a depth of a few inches.
Lining. The work in the frames being finished, the
pathways are then filled with manure up to the top
of the frames if there is an inclination for the heat
within to diminish. Manure is added or taken away
from the pathways according as to whether the tem-
perature is too low or too high. Towards night one,
two, or three mats, according to the weather, should
be placed over the lights for protection and to keep
the heat constant by night as well as by day.
78 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
As soon as the shoots begin to grow, a little air may
be admitted during the day if the weather is favourable,
and sprinklings with tepid water must be given from
time to time. At the end of about a fortnight, the
first shoots will be ready for cutting, and others will
continue to appear for about eight or ten weeks, during
which they are gathered every day or two, the crop
from each light varying from 6,000 to 8,000 shoots.
These, being exposed to the light, develop green
colouring, differing in this way from the white Aspara-
gus produced in darkness.
When the crowns cease to produce any more growths
the beds may be dismantled, or they may be made
up again if it is still worth while to force another crop
the same season. Once the roots have been forced in
this way to produce " Green " Asparagus, they should
be taken up and thrown away, as they are practically
Open-air Culture. It may be useful to English
readers if the French method of growing Asparagus
in the open air is described. So long as the soil is light
and rather chalky, deeply cultivated and well manured
at the beginning, the difficulties in the way of securing
good Asparagus are not insuperable. A piece of land
well exposed towards the south, and free from trees
and shrubs, may be regarded as the most suitable
place for an Asparagus plantation. At the same time
shelter from the north and east by walls, fences, or
hedges is a great boon, as the wind from those quarters
has a retarding if not chilling effect upon the young
growths in spring.
Preparing and Planting the Beds. Having selected
the site, the soil is dug about 18 in. deep and a
good dressing of manure is incorporated with it, so
that it decays completely during the winter months.
In the spring about February the ground is
marked out in beds, each one being a metre (39 in.)
in width, except the first and last beds, which are
only half the width of the others. The soil in the
second, fourth, sixth, and the following even-numbered
beds is then dug a good spit deep, and " ridged up,"
half of it being placed on the odd beds i, 3, 5, 7, etc.,
on one side, and half on the other as shown in the
diagram (fig. 17). The trenches marked A, B, c, etc.,
rasa 3Q., y&yg&A
, p A 3 IN B /
I i i I L_l i_
FIG. 17. DIAGRAM SHOWING HOW ASPARAGUS TRENCHES ARE MADE.
thus formed are well manured and deeply dug. Three
" drills," or shallow furrows, are then drawn from one
end to the other, one being exactly in the centre, and
the two others each about 8 or 9 in. from the
sides. More modern growers, however, draw only
two drills in each trench about 9 in. from each
side, so that more space is given to the plants. The
best one-year-old " crowns " are then planted in each
row so as to be from 24 to 30 in. apart, the plants
in one row being angled with those in the other.
At the spot where each crown is to be planted a
small heap of soil, about 2 in. high, is raised with
the hands, and on this the young Asparagus plant
is placed, taking care at the time to spread the roots
out radially from the central tuft. A small stake is
placed to each clump, to mark its position, after which
8o FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
the crowns are carefully covered by hand with a
couple of inches of rich gritty soil. Some of the soil
from the ridges on each side (see fig. 17) is then spread
over the trenches to a depth of 5 or 6 in.
Summer Treatment. During the summer months it
will be necessary to keep the weeds down between the
rows by frequent and careful use of the hoe, and
occasional soakings with water will also be beneficial
during very dry weather. About the end of September
or early in October, when the stems have begun to
wither, they may be cut down almost level with the
ground. The soil is then carefully scooped away from
the crown of each plant so as to form a circular basin
about 8 in. in diameter. A little heap of some
rich gritty soil and well-decayed manure and night
soil is then placed in the basin over each crown, to
serve as a fresh supply of nourishment for the roots,
and also to throw off cold and heavy rains during the
winter months. When performing this operation the
spots where any plants have failed should be marked
with a stick so that fresh plants may take their place
the following year.
The ridges between the beds (see fig. 17) may be
utilised during the first season for the production of
early Potatoes, Dwarf Beans, Lettuces, and other
salads if necessary, but late-maturing crops should be
Second Years Work. At the end of March or early
in April, all vacant places having been replanted, the
surface of the beds is lightly pricked up with a flat-
tined fork so as to bury the manure placed over the
crowns in the autumn. At the same period the ridges
between the Asparagus trenches are dug over and
manured, and prepared for such crops as early Carrots,
early Potatoes, Dwarf Beans, Lettuces, Onions, and
About the end of April or early in May, a few inches
of soil should be drawn up round each clump of As-
paragus shoots. As these are now numerous, it is
necessary to place a stake about a foot away from
the base of each clump, inserting it obliquely at an
angle of about 45, so that when the shoots become
long enough they may be readily secured to the stakes.
This not only prevents them from being blown about
by the wind, but also enables the thread-like leaves
(botanically known as " cladodes ") to be more fully
exposed to the sunshine under whose influence only
they can assimilate carbonic nourishment from the
atmosphere to be stored up in the subterranean
Hoeings and waterings are to be attended to as in
the first year during the summer months. In the
autumn the stems are again cut down within a few
inches of the soil, the stakes are taken away, and a
good dressing of rich soil and manure is spread over
each plant after the old soil has been scraped away
from the top of it in the way already described (see
Third Year's Work. About the middle of March
an examination of the old stems sticking above the
surface of the soil will enable one to see which are
the stronger and which the weaker plants. A mound
of rich soil about 6 or 8 in. high is then placed over
those with the stoutest stems, as these indicate greatest
strength. The weaker crowns, with more feeble
stems, are not treated in this way, but are to be allowed
82 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
another year's growth before any shoots are gathered
from them ; they are, however, staked and otherwise
attended to as already described for the first and
The stronger crowns over which the mounds of
soil have been placed will each yield three or four
fine shoots. When these are i or 2 in. through
the mound of soil, and their tops have assumed a
purplish tint, they are fit to be removed. This may
be done with a special Asparagus knife, or perhaps
better still, by inserting a finger behind the stalk
required so that when bent forward it easily snaps
off. In this way there is not the same danger of
injuring the other shoots as there is when a knife
is used. Shoots from these plants may be gathered
as long as they appear until the middle of June, but
not later. All cutting should cease at midsummer,
so that the plants shall not become exhausted too
much. Stakes should be placed to the plants as
already described, but before doing so, the little
mounds of soil placed over the clumps in March
should be spread evenly over the beds. In the autumn,
the stems are cut down again, the soil is carefully re-
moved from the crowns to the ridges, and in November
a thin layer of rich manure and a little gritty soil
is placed over the plants.
During this third year of growth the ridges between
the beds should be dug and manured in the spring
and prepared for such crops as Early Potatoes, Carrots,
Lettuces, Spinach, or Dwarf Beans, etc., as in previous
Fourth and Succeeding Years' Work. This is precisely
the same as already described for the first three
years. It must be borne in mind, however, that
there will be more crowns to cover with mounds of
soil in spring of the fourth year than there were in the
third ; and there will be still more crowns for cutting
in the fifth and sixth years than in those preceding
them until every clump of Asparagus is in full
bearing and thoroughly established.
Each year the stout shoots only should be gathered
from the strongest plants, the weakest shoots and
plants being given another season of growth to
enable them to gather more strength. And in any
case no shoots should be gathered after the middle
of June, as each plant must be allowed to develop
a certain number of shoots to store up nourishment
in the crowns before the autumn.
From the sixth year onwards, the mounds placed
over the crowns in March may be a foot or a little
more in height, and also wider at the base, to completely
cover the clump or " stool " of the plant beneath.
When the shoots have pushed their way a couple of
inches through the mounds they will have become
tipped with rose, violet, or purple, and are then ready
for gathering a process that may have to be repeated
almost every day, according to the rapidity of the
growth. After cutting has ceased, the mounds are
levelled, and the plants are securely staked and tied
in the way already described. In October the stems
are to be cut down, leaving a few inches sticking out
of the soil to indicate their position. Some of the
old soil is taken away from the crowns, and a nice
compost of manure and a little gritty soil is sub-
stituted for it. Once the plants are in full bearing,
an extra special dressing of manure may be given
84 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
about every third or fourth year, and plantations
treated in the way described will produce thousands
of shoots for fifteen to twenty years.
As the clumps, " stools," or crowns of Asparagus
increase in diameter, the ridges between the beds
gradually diminish in width each succeeding year,
so that it becomes impossible sooner or later to culti-
vate other crops on them as during the first years
of forming the plantation.
Argenteuil Asparagus. Argenteuil an ancient
town about six miles north-west of Paris has been
famous for centuries for its Asparagus plantations, and
in the twentieth century the industry is as active as
ever, if not more so. The methods of culture de-
scribed in the preceding pages are followed pretty
closely, but the Argenteuil growers have their own
system, which, however, differs only in detail.
When starting an Asparagus plantation the site
chosen is first of all given a liberal dressing of manure
about 24 tons to the acre in the autumn months.
In February or March drills or furrows about 4 in.
deep are drawn from one end of the ground to the
other, 3 ft. and often 4 ft. apart. The soil is then
drawn up on each side so as to form ridges. Between
these the Asparagus crowns are planted in March or
April, i metre (39 in.) apart. A circular basin,
about a foot wide, is made, 4 or 5 in. deep, and in
the centre of it a little mound of soil is raised with the
hands. The Asparagus plant is then placed on
the top of the mound, the roots are spread out in all
directions, after which the crown is covered with
a few handfuls of rich soil and well-decayed manure
the latter often being night soil. During the
summer months, the staking of the plants, hoeing,
and watering, and other operations already described,
are carried on until the stems are cut down in the
autumn (see p. 80). When the beds have been
established six years they are in full bearing, but
from the third year onwards a few of the best shoots
are gathered each season from the " crowns " that
have been specially moulded up for the purpose.
When in full bearing, the beds produce shoots for
six or eight weeks, and these are generally gathered
early in the morning, as they then retain their fresh-
ness for a much longer period. From the sixth year
onwards, it is necessary to give a good dressing of
manure every other year, and with proper attention
the beds may continue to yield good crops of Asparagus
for twenty-five or even thirty years. Special attention,
however, must be paid to the following cultural
1. The plants should be 3 ft. or 4 ft. apart at the
2. Manure every autumn until the sixth year ;
afterwards every other year.
3. Earth up the crowns in spring (see p. 81).
4. Never gather the shoots after the middle of
5. Level the mound of soil over the crowns in
6. Expose the top roots to the air in October by
drawing the soil away from them carefully with the
7. In spring, clean each clump or crown from old
or dead shoots and stems.
8. Stake the plants every year (see p. 81).
86 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
9. Cut only in accordance with the size and vigour
of the plant.
10. Always pick by hand instead of cutting with
the Asparagus knife.
By intelligent attention to these details the Argen-
teuil growers have made themselves famous in the
CUTTING ASPARAGUS. When the shoots of Asparagus
are sufficiently advanced in growth to be picked, some
little care is necessary in detaching them from the
parent rootstock hidden beneath the soil. The pro-
fessional grower scorns to use any instrument except
his fingers. Having scraped a little of the soil away,
he inserts one or two fingers carefully behind the re-
quired shoot, gently bends it forward, and in this way
snaps it off without injury to the other shoots. Various
knives are used, however. One kind has a long shank
inserted in a wooden handle, while the cutting blade
is curved like a small scythe, and has a saw-like edge.
Flat-bladed and semi-circular bladed gouges are also
used. Whatever instrument is used should be pushed
carefully down amongst the shoots. A dexterous
twist is then given with the wrist, by means of which
the shoot is severed at the base, and is brought above
BUNCHING ASPARAGUS. To make the Asparagus
shoots into nice bundles as seen in the shops and
markets, special frames, moulds, or " bunchers " are
used, as shown in fig. 18. It is quite an art, making
and tying the bundles. The shoots are first of all
picked over, and all those too small or too thin for
the mould are rejected, and afterwards made into
bundles by themselves, and sold as " Sprue." The
best shoots are again graded into firsts, seconds, and
thirds. The " firsts " or best shoots are first of all
placed in the frame so that they shall be on the outside
of the bundle when tied. The next best shoots are
added, and the smallest are placed in the centre.
When the required number has been placed in the
frame, the bundle is tied up firmly with two osier
twigs. These are previously steeped in water to
FIG. 1 8. ASPARAGUS BUNCHER.
The board E, with fixtures B and c, moves backwards and forwards.
The crosspiece F is for durability. The dotted circles near E indicate
that there are two cavities underneath for the fingers to slide the board.
When E is pushed back towards A, the Asparagus stems then rest on B
and c, with the points towards A.
make them more pliable for the purpose. When
complete, a bundle of Asparagus measures from
5 to 7 in. in diameter. Some growers, and pro-
bably the most sensible ones, do not mix thick and
thin shoots in the same bundle, but make them up
separately after having graded them. In any case,
the neater the bundles are made, and the fresher and
more equal in size the individual shoots in them, the
more likely are they to realise a ready sale ; whilst
badly made bundles consisting of irregular shoots
88 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
are likely to leave the grower a sadder if not wiser
When one bears in mind that the best Asparagus
fetches from 6s. to 155. per bundle in market in the
season, there is every incentive to select only the
best shoots, and pack them carefully.
As the shoots do not retain their freshness beyond
five or six days, they should be spread out on fresh-
cut rye or other grass in a cool dark place free from
ASPARAGUS PESTS AND DISEASES. The larvae of the
" Asparagus Beetle " (Crioceris asparagi) often do
much mischief to young Asparagus plants.. The
beetles lay their eggs on the stalks, and in due course
the young maggots feed upon the more tender portions,
doing great damage to the growth. The beetles them-
selves may be picked off by hand, or knocked from
the stems by tapping with a stick, so that they are
not allowed to lay their eggs. By syringing the
plants once or twice a week from April to June with
soft soap and quassia chip and nicotine solution, or
any other well-known insecticide, they will be rendered
distasteful to the pests, and these latter will be killed
if they happen to be feeding at the time of spraying.
Slugs and snails are also to be guarded against, as
they eat the tender young shoots when pushing
through the soil. They may be destroyed by dusting
with lime and soot three or four mornings or evenings
in succession and by keeping the beds cleared of any
refuse in which they conceal themselves.
The " Asparagus rust " (Puccinia Asparagi}, which
sometimes attacks forced crowns when the temperature
is irregular, rarely appears on properly grown open-
air crops. As a preventive, the attacked shoots are
detached and burnt ; and in the autumn when the
stems have been cut down, but before removing the
soil from the crowns, the beds are watered with a
copper sulphate solution about I Ib. of sulphate
of copper being used to 100 pints of water.
DWARF, FRENCH OR HARICOT BEANS
Although Haricot Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are
not now grown so extensively, as a forced crop, by
gardeners near Paris as they were formerly, it may
be worth while describing the process. Being so easily
grown in the open air during the summer months, it
is obvious that unless a commercial gardener can
produce his crops early in the year long before the
open-air ones, he stands no chance whatever of being
remunerated for his labour.
Although there are now many varieties of Dwarf
Beans, those suitable for early or forced crops are
somewhat restricted. Amongst the best for the
purpose are : Early Dwarf Frame Haricot (flageolet
nain triomphe des chassis), which grows 6 to 7 in.
high, is very early, and has green seeds. As it is
rather fastidious, care must be taken not to keep
the seeds too moist when germinating. The Early
Black Belgian Haricot (H. noir hdtif de Belgique) is
a black-seeded variety, next in earliness to the first
named, and a much stronger grower requiring more
space. The Early Chalandray (H. tres-hdtif de
Chalandray) has yellow seeds ; the Early Dwarf
Etampes (H. flageolet tres-hdtif d'Etampes), a strong
grower, with white seeds ; and H. flageolet d feuilles
go FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
cloquees may also be grown. Formerly the Dwarf Dutch
Haricot (nain de Hollande) was a popular kind for
early forcing, but has been superseded largely by
those mentioned. One variety with yellow seeds I
think likely to succeed in England is known as " Six
Weeks." I have grown it in the open air in the
usual way, and much to my astonishment I picked
the first pod exactly six weeks after the seeds were
CULTURE. About the middle of December a hot-bed
varying from 12 to 24 in. in thickness is prepared,
and on which a temperature of 65 to 70 Fahr. is
maintained. A compost made up of two-thirds
gritty loam and one-third old manure or leaf-soil is
spread over the bed to a depth of 6 or 7 in. The
seeds are then either sown where the plants are to
develop, allowing sixteen or twenty-four plants to
each light eventually ; or they may be sown in pots
or pans in a hot-bed or greenhouse, from which they
are afterwards to be transplanted. This operation
takes place as soon as the seed-leaves are well
developed, and is considered to be an advantage,
because the plants do not grow so tall and yield a
larger supply of pods. Each young Bean plant is
buried up to the seed-leaves in the soil ; if this is
inclined to dryness, a gentle watering must be given,
and the lights must not be opened for a couple of
days until growth has recommenced. Afterwards, air
must be given on all fine days to keep the plants green
and sturdy. Protection from frost is secured by
covering with mats at night-time, the same being
removed at the earliest moment each morning. In
the event of severe weather, the frames must be
DWARF, FRENCH OR HARICOT BEANS 91
banked up or " lined " with manure, more or less
fresh, to maintain the requisite temperature within.
When the plants touch the glass they may be
bent gently towards the top of the frame, and kept
in that position by thin bamboo or other sticks placed
across them. Apart from this, the frames may also
be raised a little on pots or bricks, taking care, how-
ever, that the linings are made up well to prevent
the cold outside air from entering at the base.
By this method of cultivation somewhat costly
and tedious apparently the first pods may be picked
six, eight, or ten weeks after the seed has been sown.
As the season advances, succession crops will appear
more quickly. The pods should be picked regularly
and systematically before they get too old, as this
is the only way to induce the plants to continue to
yield for a long time. After March it is not worth while
growing Dwarf Beans on hot-beds in this way, as the
crops for the open air are being prepared.
Both " dwarf " and " runner " Beans have long
been grown in greenhouses in England during the
earlier months of the year the plants being either
in pots, or placed in beds. A temperature of 65 to
75 Fahr. must be maintained, and care must be
taken to keep the atmosphere just in the right state
of humidity not too saturated on the one hand, or
too dry on the other.
CLOCHE CULTURE. Early crops in the open air may
be secured by sowing seeds in gentle heat in April,
afterwards transferring the plants to the open air
when the seed-leaves are developed, placing three
plants under every cloche. No air is given for a
few days, to give the plants a fresh start, but after-
92 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
wards as much as possible is given, until at length
the cloches are taken off altogether when there is
no longer any fear of frost. For good early Beans
as much as gd. and is. per Ib. is often realised in
To have Dwarf Beans from October onwards, seeds
may be sown in the open air on warm sunny borders.
A sharp eye, however, must be kept on the early
frosts in September and October. To guard against
them, a light trellis of sticks should be made, and
placed over the plants. At night-time, mats may
be spread over the trellis to protect the plants from
CABBAGES FOR SPRING
Nice Cabbages in the early spring are always highly
appreciated, and when in market early are almost
sure to command good prices. Amongst the best
FIG. 19. EARLY OX-HEART FIG. 20. EXPRESS CABBAGE.
varieties for the purpose, mention may be made of
the large and small forms of " Ox Heart," or Cceur
de Bceuf, (fig. 19) and " Early York." There are several
CABBAGES FOR SPRING
varieties of " Ox-Heart " Cabbages, one particularly
early being called Pomme de Paris.
Other good sorts are "Express" (fig. 20), "Very
Early Etampes " (fig. 21), and " St. Denis."
About the end of August, or early in September,
seeds are sown, and
these dates are very
strictly adhered to.
If sown much earlier
or later the plants
afterwards are in-
clined to run to seed
instead of forming
heads. About the
end of September the
young plants are "_*
FIG. 21. EARLY ETAMPES CABBAGE.
ready for pricking
out into beds, care being taken at the time to reject
all blind, deformed, or diseased plants.
During November, sometimes even at the end of
October, the plants thus pricked out will be ready
for final planting. The ground is deeply dug, well
manured, and levelled in advance, and the young
plants have the stems buried until the lower leaves
rest on the surface of the soil. They are spaced out
1 8 in. to 2 ft. apart in shallow furrows about a foot
The soil in which the Cabbages are to mature should
be deeply dug and well-manured, whether light or
heavy in its nature. Parisian gardeners are particu-
larly fond of night soil as a manure, especially for
Cabbage crops ; but nearly all decayed vegetable
refuse is also worked into the soil to enrich it in humus.
94 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
In the case of light soils, however, the sowing and
final planting may be done a week or even a fortnight
later than in the case of soils that are naturally inclined
to be heavy or chalky.
From the same batch of seedlings it is possible to
arrange for two distinct crops. This is done by
placing some of the plants on warm and sheltered
borders that have been deeply dug and well manured,
as already described. Furrows 4 to 5 in. deep
are drawn, and into these the Cabbages are planted.
The soil thus drawn up in little ridges on each side
of the shallow furrow serves to protect the " collar "
of the young plant during the winter months. In
the course of time the soil from the ridges gradually
crumbles down, and, coming in contact with the
plants, keeps them warmer than would otherwise
be the case with plants on a perfectly level piece of
The distance between the rows for winter planting
varies according to
the nature of the soil
and the growth of
the varieties planted.
For the " York "
" Early Express "
varieties, the rows
FIG. 22. PARIS MARKET OX-HEART may be about 12 in.
CABBAGE. T , -, . ,
apart. In these the
plants should be 15 to 18 in. apart. For the larger-
growing varieties, however, such as the " Large Ox
Heart," " Large York," " St. Denis/' and " Market
Ox Heart " (moyen de la Halle) (fig. 22), the rows may
CABBAGES FOR SPRING 95
be 1 6 or 18 in. apart and the plants in them 16 to
20 in. asunder.
Planting, of course, is done in mild weather, many
growers preferring to use the trowel for the purpose
instead of the dibber. If possible a good watering
is also given after planting to settle the soil nicely
round the roots of each plant.
In cold or bleak localities the soil on the south side
of the rows is drawn up carefully to the lower leaves
of the plants, thus making a protecting bank so that
the plants shall not suffer from quick thawings after
a severe frost, or from the effects of a fall of snow.
Some growers even go to the trouble during very
severe frosts to cover their Cabbages with litter, or
the straw from a manure heap, bracken, or anything
else that is light and handy. Short dry manure may
also be worked in between the rows, as still further
protection against severe frosts and subsequent
During the spring months the plants are hoed well,
and at the same time the mould is drawn up carefully
about the stems. This not only serves as a protection
for the plants, but it also helps them to resist strong
winds and at the same time encourages the development
of still more roots from the joints. From March
onwards, if the weather is at all genial, a good watering
now and then will be beneficial if the rains have not
already made the soil sufficiently damp. When the
plants are well-established, a little nitrate of soda
about I Ib. to every 40 square yards may be sprinkled
over the soil, and afterwards worked in with the hoe.
Cabbages grown in the way described commence
to turn in on the warm, sheltered borders during April
96 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
and early in May, and are followed by the others
grown in the open ground.
Some growers, when they see the earlier Cabbages
beginning to heart, gently raise the large outer leaves
upwards to the top, and tie them round the centre with
a piece of raffia or rye grass. This makes the hearts
eventually more tender and of a better flavour, while
it accelerates hearting up. It is also an advantage
to have the Cabbages thus tied up when one comes
to pack them for market.
EARLY SUMMER CABBAGES. For a supply of Cab-
FIG. 23. FLAT PARISIAN (PLAT DE PARIS) CABBAGE.
bages during the summer months an early variety called
" Plat de Paris " (fig. 23) is much favoured. It is so
short stemmed that the large, flat heads appear to sit
on the ground. Seeds of this variety are sown under
cloches or in a gentle hot-bed about the middle of
February, and are afterwards pricked out in nice soil
at the rate of 400 plants to a light, or 30 under a cloche,
when the seed-leaves are well developed. A little air
is given when they have recovered, to keep them
sturdy. Early in April these young Cabbages will be
ready for the open air, and may be planted by them-
selves or between rows of Lettuces that are to be
cut in May. After the Lettuces are taken off, the soil
is hoed well, and if inclined to be dry, a good soaking
of water is given occasionally. These Cabbages are
ready by the middle of June.
The Cardoon (Cynara Cardunculus) is a perennial
composite, native of Southern Europe. It grows from
4 to 6 ft. high or more, and has large pinnate leaves,
grey-green on the upper surface and almost white
beneath. In many varieties there is a yellow or brown
spine, often over \ in. long, in the angle of each
division of the leaves. The fleshy leaf-stalks, when
blanched, form the eatable portion of the plant, as
well as the thick, fleshy main roots.
In many French gardens the Cardoon is an important
crop. There are several varieties grown, such as the
" Prickly Tours," " Ivory-white," " Spanish," and
" Artichoke-leaved " or " Puvis," etc. Of these the
first-named" Prickly Tours "is most highly appre-
ciated by the market-gardeners of Tours and Paris,
notwithstanding the fact that it is more spiny than
any other kind. It is, however, also the hardiest and
keeps better than the others, although all are susceptible
Cardoons are always raised from seeds, never from
suckers. These are usually sown out-of-doors in May,
in holes or pockets filled with rich gritty mould three
or four seeds being placed in each pocket. Or seeds
may be sown in the latter half of April on a hot-bed
with a temperature of 65 to 70 Fahr. The seedlings
98 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
appear in about 10 days on the hot-bed, those in the
open air taking from 15 to 18 days to germinate in
When the young plants in the hot-bed have developed
their seed-leaves, they are potted up singly into small
pots and plunged in the hot-bed again. They are
lightly sprinkled and kept rather close for some time,
and are generally ready for planting in the open air
about the middle of May, or a little later according
to the weather.
In the case of the plants raised in the open air, when
the seedlings are well developed all but the best one
in each little hole are destroyed.
Whether the plants are raised in hot-beds or in the
open air, it is essential to have them in rows at least
4 ft., but if possible 5 ft. apart. In all cases the
young plants are placed in holes or trenches about a
foot deep. The soil should be deeply dug and heavily
manured in advance, the finest leaves being obtained
on a sandy or chalky clay.
As the plants grow slowly at first the space between
them may be utilised for raising such quick crops as
Radishes, Carrots, Lettuces, Dwarf Beans, Spinach,
early Cabbages, etc. The soil in the meantime is kept
perfectly clean with the frequent use of the hoe, while
the Cardoons are supplied with an abundance of water
during the summer months.
BLANCHING. This is essential. The leaf -stalks are
tied up in two or three places according to length, in
the same way as Celery, bearing in mind that the
fierce and sharp spines on the leaves are capable of
causing some trouble. To avoid being pricked with
the spines, a strong stake, with a piece of stout string
attached, is driven into the ground near the plant.
The string is then wound round and round the plant,
pulling the spiny leaves together into a bundle ; or,
" three sticks are used, one of them short, and
connected with the other two by strong twine. The
workman, standing at a safe distance, pushes the two
handles under the plant, and then going to the
other side and seizing them, soon gathers up the
prickly leaves. Another workman then ties it up in
three places, and straw is placed round and tied so
as quite to exclude the light. In three weeks the
vegetable is as well blanched and as tender as could
be desired. To blanch the Cardoon properly and
render the leaves perfectly tender, it should be de-
prived of light and air for at least three weeks. It is
then cut just below the surface of the earth, and
divested of its straw covering ; the withered leaves
are sliced off and the root trimmed up neatly "
This work is done during October. If it is desired
to preserve Cardoons, the stems are tied up as described,
the entire plant is taken up carefully with a ball of
soil round the roots, and is plunged in well-decayed
manure or leaf mould in a dark cellar free from frost.
The Carrot (Daucus Carota) is brought to great
perfection in French gardens, and vast quantities of
juicy, tender roots are grown year after year. The
smaller-rooted varieties are preferred especially by
intensive growers, as they are easily forced, are far
superior to the larger kinds, and find a more ready
ioo FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
sale not only in the central markets of Paris, but also
in Covent Garden and other English markets.
The kinds chiefly grown are
I. Paris Forcing Carrot (syn. " Carotte rouge d
forcer Parisienne "). This is a comparatively new
variety, considered to be somewhat earlier than the
" French Forcing " or " Early Forcing Horn Carrot."
The roots are somewhat similar in shape, but the skin
is of a deep
colour. It is
2. The French
Forcing or Early
Carrot (syns. :
FIG. 24. FRENCH FORCING OR EARLY FORCING " C Ci Y tt &
" C. grelot," " C. Toupie," fig. 24). This is the smallest
and one of the earliest Carrots grown in hot-beds.
The roots are almost round, ij to 2 in. in diameter,
suddenly narrowed into a long slender thread-like
extremity. When forced in hot-beds the skin is
generally pale or straw-yellow in colour ; but it as-
sumes a scarlet tint when grown in the open air. The
roots are very tender and of excellent flavour.
3. Scarlet Horn Carrot or Dutch Horn Carrot (syns. :
" Carotte rouge courte hdtive," " C. rouge courte d'Hol-
lande," " C. Bellot," fig. 25). This excellent and
tender variety is usually grown as a first-early crop
in the open air. The roots are about 3 in. long,
and between i and 2 in. thick, the skin being
deep scarlet, while the shape is cylindrical or long
top-shaped, abruptly ending in a thread-like rootlet.
It may be grown in hot-beds in the same way as French
Forcing Carrot, but does not mature so quickly.
4. Half-long Scarlet Carentan. This is an early
FIG. 25. SCARLET OR DUTCH HORN
FIG. 26. SCARLET
and finely coloured Carrot, excellent for later forced
crops or for first crops in the open. The roots are
narrowly cylindrical, suddenly ending in a thread-like
tail (fig. 26).
5. Half- long Nantes Scarlet Carrot (syns. : " Carotte
rouge demi-longue nantaise," " Carotte sans cceur ").
This tender and fine-flavoured Carrot is good for
early crops in the open air, but is scarcely profitable
enough for forcing. The roots are bluntly cylindrical
in shape, 4 in. or so long, and between ij to 2 in.
thick, with a deep red skin. It has very little core
or heart, hence one of the French names, " sans
cceur" (fig. 27).
There are many other varieties of Carrots, but as
they are chiefly for open-air culture they need no
special mention here.
FIRST CROP s.
Seeds of Paris Forc-
ing or Early Forcing
Horn are sown for
the first crop during
October, on finely
about 6 in. deep on
the surface of the
mild hot-bed. After
sowing the seeds and
them with soil, they
should be gently
beaten down with a piece of flat board. Very often,
if not always indeed, Radishes are sown at the same
time, but before the Carrots and a little deeper. Ger-
mination takes place in about a fortnight, and from
this time onwards air is given on all occasions when
the weather is favourable, if only for half an hour
or so each day. This prevents etiolation or yellowing,
and encourages the proper development of the leaves
In November, and again in December, sowings of
the same varieties may be made on hot-beds about
18 in. thick, coated with fine mould to a depth of
FIG. 27. HALF-LONG NANTES SCARLET
6 in., and with a temperature ranging from 65 to
80 Fahr. At this period the seeds are sown rather
thickly, about 3 oz. to 100 square yards. The
mould covering the manure is mostly humus from
old hot-beds ; it gives the skins of the Carrots a much
brighter colour and a more tender flavour than can
be obtained from ordinary garden soil.
Over Carrot seed Radishes may be also sown ; and
from 30 to 36 Black Gotte Cabbage Lettuces may be
planted over them in each light. These Lettuces will
be fit to cut in January. As the Radishes develop
quickly they are gathered before any damage is likely
to be done either to the Carrots or the Lettuces the
latter of course being mature long before the Carrots
which will not be ready until early in April. A
reference to the chapters on Cauliflowers, Radishes,
Lettuces, etc., will show that Carrots are nearly always
covered in the early stages with crops of a different
character usually just after the seed has been sown.
During growth attention must be given to watering,
taking care that the beds are never allowed to become
too dry. By keeping the manure in the pathways
well moistened, there is no need to water the beds in
the early stages, as sufficient moisture is absorbed by
capillary attraction (see p. 15).
If the weather is very severe and frosty, hot manure
must be placed between and around the frames to
maintain the requisite temperature within. In mild
weather, of course, less manure will be required between
the frames than in cold weather.
Towards the end of March, if the weather is
considered mild enough, the frames are taken off the
Carrots and placed over other crops such as
104 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Melons ; but then the Carrots will not mature quite so
During February and March, seeds of " Scarlet
Horn " or " Half-long Nantes Scarlet " Carrots may
be sown on open beds, without the protection of
lights. Straw mats will afford sufficient protection
from frost for these sowings. To keep the mats off
the Carrots, two rails are fixed on stakes driven into
the bed on each side. These Carrots succeed those
from the earlier sowings, and fill in the gap between
those sown in the open ground.
After the Carrots sown in February and March
have been gathered, Radishes are sown on the same
beds ; and when the Radishes have been pulled,
their place may be taken with Celeriac (Turnip-rooted
Celery) or some other crop.
THINNING CARROTS. It is essential to thin out
Carrots when they are 2 or 3 in. high, otherwise they
would choke each other in time. The weakest seedlings
are pulled up by hand, and about 3 in. of space
is left between the first crops in frames, and one or
two inches more between the out-door crops.
The Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea Botrytis cauli-
flora) is an important and often a lucrative crop to
the intensive cultivator. Amongst the Cauliflowers
proper (as distinguished from the hardier white-headed
Broccoli) three sections are generally recognised, viz.
the tender, the half-hardy, and the hardy the varieties
of which follow each other in natural succession.
They may also be described as " early/' " second
early " or " mid-season," and " late/' From the
intensive cultivator's point of view the tender and
half-hardy varieties are most valuable, as they come
to maturity at a season when prices are generally
high, and when the produce itself is most appreciated.
EARLY CROPS or " PRIMEURS." Amongst the
" tender " Cauliflowers the following varieties are
considered best for
" primeurs " or early
crops, viz. :
1. Express, con-
sidered to be the
earliest Cauliflower of
all, with short stems.
2. D w ar f Ear ly
Erfurt (nain hdtif
d' Erfurt), a very early
variety well suited for
frame culture (fig. 28).
3. Early Paris (tendre
de Paris or Petit Salomon), a good variety for spring
4. Early Snowball (Boule de neige), one of the
best for frames, especially in favoured localities.
SECOND EARLY CROPS. The varieties of Cauliflower
best suited to follow the above are
1. Lenormand, short-stalked, a fine summer Cauli-
flower highly favoured by Parisian market-gardeners.
It has a very short stem, large firm head of great
purity, and keeps a long time (fig. 29).
2. Second Early Paris (Demi-dur de Paris, or Gros
Salomon). This variety is highly esteemed for spring
FIG. 28. DWARF EARLY ERFURT
106 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
and early summer crops, on account of its large
beautiful white heads (fig. 30).
LATE OR OPEN-AIR CROPS. There are several
varieties adapted for this purpose, being characterised
by their large leaves, sturdy stems, and large heads
produced late in the summer or during autumn.
Amongst the best-known kinds are
i. Autumn Giant, with very large firm heads. If
FIG. 29. LENORMAND CAULIFLOWER.
sown iii February or March it comes into use in October
2. Walcheren, a well-known variety with large
white heads. It is very hardy and is best sown
about April to produce heads in autumn and winter.
3. Early London or Early Dutch, a hardy variety
much grown in Holland, but well adapted for English
gardens. The heads are not particularly large, but
they are hard and firm
CULTURE OF EARLY CAULIFLOWERS. After the
ist and before September 20, seeds of early kinds
like "Express," "Dwarf Early Erfurt," "Early
Snowball " or " Early Paris " should be sown on an
old hot-bed, or even on open ground that has been
deeply dug and levelled, and afterwards covered with
a good layer of rich gritty mould. Seeds may also
F*G. 30. SECOND EARLY PARIS (OR GROS SALOMON) CAULIFLOWER.
be sown at the same period, if the weather is un-
favourable, under cloches or lights. In all cases the
seeds should be lightly covered with gritty soil, and
the seed-bed should be gently beaten down with the
back of the spade or a piece of flat board, afterwards
giving it a gentle watering through a fine-rosed can ;
and the seed-bed must be kept in a moist condition
afterwards otherwise the germinating seeds may
io8 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
When the seeds are sown under cloches or lights,
air must be given more or less freely, according to
the state of the weather, when the young plants are
well through the soil. This will keep them strong
and sturdy, otherwise they are apt to become weak
Pricking out and Transplanting. When the seedlings
have made two leaves beyond the seed-leaves or
cotyledons, they are ready for pricking out. This
is done under lights or cloches, under which they are
kept until ready for the final planting.
Some growers transfer the young Cauliflowers
direct from the seed-bed to the ground on which
the plants are to mature, and do not go to the trouble
of moving them twice. But in this case they sow the
seeds thinly, so that the young plants may not be
too close, and may thus remain longer in the seed-bed
Having marked out as much ground as is necessary,
it is dug and prepared for the reception of the frames,
which are to slope towards the south. The interior
is filled up within 6 in. of the top with fine rich
mould evenly spread over the surface and gently
trodden down for the reception of the young plants.
These should be well watered an hour or two previous
to lifting, so as to have a good ball of soil to the roots.
They are best taken up with a spade, great care being
taken when separating the plants to retain as much
soil as possible round the roots of each. The planting
is done either with the finger or a small dibber, taking
care to bury the young plants up to the seed-leaves,
as this encourages adventitious roots to spring from
the stems beneath the surface of the soil. About
3 to 4 in. space is left between each plant ; in other
words, from 150 to 220 plants are placed under each
The planting finished, a nice sprinkling is given over-
head, and the outside air is shut out for a few days
until the plants pick up again. After this, air must
be given on all fine days by tilting the lights with a
piece of wood, brick, or flower-pot whichever happens
to be most convenient.
Cloches. When Cauliflowers are pricked out under
cloches, raised sloping beds (see fig. i) wide enough
to accommodate three rows of glasses, are prepared
and covered with fine rich mould. An impression of
the cloches having been made on the surface by
pressing down in the required spots, nineteen plants
are usually placed under each one. The treatment
is then the same as under lights.
It sometimes happens that the young plants under
lights and cloches grow too quickly and would very
soon stifle each other if not moved. Other beds for
lights and cloches must then be prepared as in the
first case. The plants are carefully taken up and
transferred to these new quarters, but naturally at
a greater distance from each other than before so
that each light holds only 80 to 140 plants, and each
cloche about 14 instead of 19 as at first. This second
pricking out retards the plants, and makes them
generally hardier and more sturdy. It is also con-
sidered to make the plants mature earlier and to
develop smaller " heads."
Protection. From November onwards the young
Cauliflower plants must be protected from severe
frosts by means of mats spread over the frames or
no FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
cloches at night. These, however, must be taken
off as early as possible every morning, and air must
be given freely on all genial days. In very severe
weather, not only are mats used, but manure is also
heaped round the frames, and leaves or litter are
placed round the cloches.
When the temperature is so low that it is unsafe
to take off the mats, or to give light and air to the
plants, one must be careful not to uncover afterwards
when the sun is too bright, nor yet to give too much
air. It is better to avoid rapid changes in temperature,
and to admit light and air carefully after a long period
of darkness and a close atmosphere.
Final Planting of First Crop. Early in December
the hot-beds are made up, and a layer about 7 in.
thick of rich sandy loam and leaf -mould, or old manure
and sandy soil (three parts of manure to one of soil),
is spread evenly over the surface.
Before taking the young plants from the beds or
cloches in which they were pricked out, they should
be well watered. They are then easily lifted, each
one with a nice ball of soil attached to the roots.
The plants should be carefully examined, so that
only clean healthy ones shall be planted. " Blind "
plants that is, those in which the centre has been
destroyed and has come malformed and any that
are too coarse in growth, besides those affected with
disease at the base, are to be discarded. Six Cauli-
flowers are then planted under each light, three in
a row at the top or north side, and three in a row
at the bottom or south side. After planting, they
are watered well and air is excluded for two or three
days until they recover from the transplanting.
Afterwards air must be given on all favourable occa-
sions and watering must be given more and more
freely as the plants increase in vigour and approach
maturity. Later on, as the leaves begin to touch
the glass, if the weather is mild enough the frames
and lights are taken away and placed over other
crops. If, owing to the weather, it is risky to shift
the frames, they may be lifted by placing blocks of
wood or bricks beneath the legs at the corners. In
this way more head room will be given the plants.
Early in March the heads begin to appear. To keep
them perfectly white, as they increase in size one of
the large leaves near the top is cracked at the base,
and bent over the head. The exposure to light
tends to make the heads yellowish in colour a fact
which lowers their market value.
-The heads are fit to cut from about March 20
onwards and well into April, those which are just
at the right stage being of course cut before the others.
Early in January another batch of young Cauli-
flowers from the same seed-bed may be planted ;
and still another batch a fortnight later, in beds on
which Carrots and Radishes have been sown, and
upon which Cos and Cabbage Lettuces are growing.
Under favourable conditions " heads " are often fit
to cut about the end of April and during May.
Intercropping. In December when the young Cauli-
flowers six in each light are planted, there is much
vacant space. This is often utilised for other crops,
such as Cabbage Lettuces and Radishes. Seeds of
the latter are sown and covered, and afterwards three
rows of Gotte Lettuce are planted between the two
rows of Cauliflowers. As the temperature of the
H2 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
frames at this period should be between 65 and 75
Fahr., the Radishes germinate quickly and mature
long before they interfere with the Lettuces. The
latter also, being quicker in growth than the Cauli-
flowers, will be fit to cut before the Cauliflowers will
require more space.
SPRING AND SUMMER CAULIFLOWERS. In the first
half of September seeds of a variety like " Lenormand "
or " Second Early Paris " (Gros Salomon) may be sown in
the same way as the first crops. When the young plants
have developed two leaves beyond the seed-leaves,
they are pricked out under lights, and grown on until
large enough for the final transplanting in due course.
This may take place in frames specially set apart for
Cauliflowers, in which case Lettuces may be planted
between, after another sowing of Radishes has been
made in the way already mentioned. Or the young
Cauliflowers may be planted amongst the Carrots in
other frames, placing three plants on the north side and
three on the south side in each frame with the Carrots
in the centre.
Cauliflowers may also be planted in the spaces
between the cloches that are sheltering Cos and
Cabbage Lettuces, as shown at p. 153 in the diagram
(%. 4 i).
Between the beginning of February and the middle
of March, other batches of Cauliflowers from the
autumn sowings may be planted on warm sunny
beds or borders, upon which Carrots and Radishes
have previously been sown. The Cauliflowers should
be placed about 2\ ft. apart in rows 3 ft. apart, and
should be " angled " that is, so as not to be opposite
each other in the rows. At the same time a Cos
(Romaine) Lettuce may be planted between each
Cauliflower, and Cos Lettuces may also be planted
between the rows. The margins of the beds or borders
may then be planted with Cabbage Lettuces as shown
in the annexed diagram, in which a * represents
Cauliflowers, an o Cos Lettuces, and an x Cabbage
SUCCESSION CROPS. Seeds of the second-season
varieties may be sown in February and March under
similar conditions, or seedlings from the September
sowing may be held over somewhat later than those
that are to produce the second crop. The plants will
be ready for planting in their final quarters in March
or in April, when there is no longer need for artificial
heat. Old beds may be used for these crops, or the
young Cauliflowers (which should have been gradually
hardened off in the frames) may be planted out on
the warm, sheltered borders on which Cos and Cabbage
Lettuces may have been already planted some time
previously. These Cauliflowers will be ready at the
end of May and during June and July.
If another sowing is made about the end of April or
early in May of the same varieties " Lenormand " and
"Second Early Paris" (Gros Salomon) the young
plants will be ready for the open ground early in June.
The soil in which they are placed, about 2 ft. apart every
H4 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
way, should have been deeply dug and well enriched
with manure in advance, if it is not already an old
hot-bed. The plants must be kept watered well, and
during August and September ought to yield fine
heads. When first planted out in June, the ground
between the Cauliflowers may be utilised for Cos or
LATE CAULIFLOWERS. To secure the latest Cauli-
flowers, seeds of " Autumn Giant/' " Walcheren," or
" Early London " may be sown at intervals from
February and March to May or June in an old hot-bed
or on a somewhat sheltered border. The last of the
young plants, after pricking out in the usual way or
even transferring direct from the seed-bed will be
ready for final planting about July. They must be
constantly watered to keep them growing steadily with
soft and tender tissues. According to the period of
sowing and the variety, the heads will come into use
from August to October and November.
Late Cauliflowers may be intercropped much in
the same way as those preceding them. Fine- and
broad-leaved Endives, Radishes, Spinach, or Corn
Salad are recommended as suitable for the purpose.
Covering the Heads. This is essential in open-air
crops. When the heads are forming up nicely, one
or two large healthy leaves may be cracked low down,
and then bent over them to protect them from the
sun. These coverings should be examined each day
in case caterpillars attack the heads, and in showery
weather a watch must be kept for slugs. Indeed, from
start to finish Cauliflowers are beset by many insect
foes, one of the worst being the Turnip Beetle (Haltica
nemorum). By frequently watering the plants, how-
ever, it may be kept in check. During early growth,
if the plants are syringed occasionally with a little
weak paraffin emulsion, the foliage will be rendered
noxious to the various pests. About an egg-cupful of
paraffin to three or four gallons of warm water, well
mixed up with a little soft soap, will make a good
solution. It should be applied in a fine spray morning
The Celery (Apium graveolens) is a native biennial
plant that has become of great garden value by selection
and cultivation for centuries, and as a salad the leaf-
stalks are highly esteemed. For intensive cultivation
French gardeners favour a variety called " Chemin "
or " Plein blanc dore," and known to us as " Paris
Golden/' This has leaves and stems of a golden-
yellow colour, and matures quickly. It is, however,
somewhat susceptible to frosts, and therefore is more
valued for early crops. Other forms of this Celery
are known as " Plein blanc d'Amerique," or " White
Plume/' and " Plein blanc a cotes roses," or " Pink
Plume/' both of which are also much grown in
France for early crops, owing to the fact that the
stems blanch readily without being " earthed up "
From the end of January until about the middle of
March seeds of the varieties mentioned may be sown
on hot-beds having a temperature of 60 to 70 Fahr.
To encourage rapid germination, frequent sprinklings
are given, and when the young plants appear as much
air as possible is given in accordance with the state
n6 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
of the weather, so that the plants may become sturdy.
If the seedlings (from seeds sown in January) are too
close together, they may be either " thinned out " or
" pricked out," 3 to 4 in. apart, on an old hot-bed,
when four or five leaves have developed. Seedlings
from later growings in February and March may be
pricked out when large enough in cold frames, under
cloches, or even on warm south borders.
In April, when the earlier crops of Turnips, Carrots,
Radishes, etc., have been taken from the frames, the
young Celery plants may take their places. They
will then be about 5 or 6 in. high. The plants are
placed opposite each other, and not " angled," about
I ft. apart in rows a similar distance from each
other. After planting, the soil should be well watered
to settle it about the roots, and a little litter or dry
manure may be spread over the surface of a soil likely
to dry rapidly. During growth attention must be
paid to weeding and hoeing, and plenty of water must
be given as the weather becomes warmer and growth
more vigorous. As soon as the plants are about
1 8 in. high, they are ready for " blanching." If,
however, the stems are more or less spreading, they
should be tied together in one or two places, taking
care, however, not to tie the tops too tightly, or the
centres may be crippled and prevented from developing
further. Plants from the earlier sowings will be ready
for cutting about the end of July and during August ;
while later sowings in April and May will produce plants
for succession in autumn and winter. The green-
stemmed varieties of Celery (verts) are best for winter
use, owing to their hardiness ; while the blonds (sown
in May) are recommended for autumn use, as they are
easily blanched simply by spreading mats over them
when nearly fully developed.
Blanching Celery. This operation has the effect of
excluding the light from the stems, which are thus
rendered sweeter and more tender by the absence or
non-development of the green colouring matter called
chlorophyll. Different methods of blanching are
adopted, but as the main object is the same in all
cases, they differ only in details.
To blanch the earliest crops of Celery, dry leaves,
straw, moss, or clean litter is placed between the
plants where they are growing. A slender, wooden
frame is slid in between the rows of Celery first of all
so as to keep the leaves up and close together. The
light-excluding material is worked in between the rows
until about two-thirds of the stems are hidden. The
frame is then withdrawn and placed between other
rows that are to be treated in a similar manner. About
fifteen days after this operation the Celery stems will
be sufficiently blanched ; in addition, mats are often
thrown over the tops of the plants at the same time
to hasten the process.
Some growers, instead of placing straw or litter
between the rows in the way described, make bands
of the straw and then twist them round the Celery
stalks from the base upwards for two-thirds of their
length. This is an economical but less expeditious
method of blanching. Other growers, again, use a
kind of earthenware pipe 15 to 16 in. long, and about
6 in. wide at the base, tapering to about 4 in. at
the top. The Celery stems are brought together by
twisting a piece of string round them spirally from
the bottom upwards ; a pipe is then placed over
n8 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
each plant tied up thus, and the string is carefully
unwound by pulling it through the upper hole in
Another method of blanching Celery is adopted for
the second or autumn crops as follows. A trench,
3 or 4 ft. wide, is dug out 12 to 15 in. deep, and
of any required length, the soil being thrown up on
both sides of the trench. The bottom is then broken
up to ensure better drainage. The Celery plants are
taken up, each with a ball of soil adhering to the roots.
Each plant is " picked over " that is, any dead or
yellow leaves or basal suckers are detached, and the
stems are fastened with one or two raffia or rye-grass
ties, to prevent the soil getting into the crowns or
hearts of the plants. The latter are then planted in
the trench about 6 in. apart, in rows 8 to 10 in.
wide, the ball of soil being just covered over. After
planting, a good watering is given to settle the soil,
and if the weather is dry the watering is renewed a
few times' so as to encourage the plants to become
established quickly in their new quarters, which
generally takes a week or ten days according to cir-
The blanching, or " earthing up," is then done
either in one operation or in two. If the former, the
Celery stems are certainly whiter but not so firm and
crisp as when the work is done on two separate oc-
casions ; and the latter is recommended. The finely
prepared soil is worked in between the rows of plants
in the trenches, and the operation is facilitated by
using a frame to hold the leaves up as described for
blanching the early crops. About 6 in. of soil is
worked in between the plants on the first occasion,
and about a fortnight afterwards the operation is
again performed. This time, however, the space
between the rows is filled up with soil so that the
stems are completely buried except for the leaves
at the top. These stick out 5 or 6 in. above the
soil, and as long as growth continues they carry on
the work of assimilation. When danger from frost
is feared the plants are covered with straw or litter,
or mats, for protection at night, taking care, however,
to uncover them as early as possible in the morning.
About three or four weeks after the final earthing up
the Celery will be fit for use, and will keep in good
condition in the trenches until the end of February.
A third method of blanching Celery where it is grown
is practised in the neighbourhoods of Meaux and
Viroflay. Celery is planted in every other bed, and
in the intervening spaces crops of Lettuces, Endive,
Chicory, or some other vegetable are grown during
the summer months. They must, however, be taken
off the ground by September, as the soil on which they
have been growing will then be required to " earth up "
the Celery on each side. The work is best done on
two occasions, with an interval of about a fortnight
between ; the stems are then firmer and of a better
flavour than if earthed up completely at one operation.
The English method of growing Celery is also
adopted in some places. Trenches about a yard wide
and 6 to 12 in. deep are prepared. In May or June
two rows of Celery are planted in each trench. In
due course the plants are " earthed up " by having
the soil from the sides of the trench brought up to
the stems in the course of two or three different opera-
tions. If necessary the stems are tied up, and any
120 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
dead or yellow leaves are picked off the plants before
the work begins.
Diseases. The worst disease of Celery is caused by
the Celery Fly (Tephritis Onopordinis), the maggots of
which enter the tissues of the leaves and destroy them,
causing unsightly blotches. The best way to check
the pest is to syringe the healthy young plants fre-
quently with the paraffin emulsion wash mentioned
above under Cauliflowers (see p. 115).
CELERIAC OR TURNIP-ROOTED CELERY
Celeriac (Apium graveolens rapacea) is known in
French gardens as " Celeri rave " (fig. 31), and differs
from the ordinary
Celery in having
These are cut up into
slices and used in
salads, and for
flavouring soups, etc.
For early crops seeds
are sown at the end
of February or early
in March. The
young plants will be
ready for pricking
out in April, either
on an old hot-bed
or on a warm south border, allowing 3 or 4 in.
between them every way. Three or four weeks
later, the young Celeriacs may be pricked out again
in similar situations, this time about 6 in. apart.
FIG. 31. CELERIAC OR TURNIP-ROOTED
CELERIAC OR TURNIP-ROOTED CELERY 121
Final planting takes place about the end of May, in
the open air or in open beds, the plants being 12 to
14 in. apart and " angled " (i.e. planted quincuncially)
in the rows. Sometimes they are grown between
Lettuces or Cauliflowers, but this is not advisable. A
succession may be kept up by making a second sowing
in May, and planting out in due course after the
seedlings have been pricked out twice, as already
During growth weeds should be kept down by the
hoe, and when the plants are about half-grown copious
waterings may be given, especially during dry seasons.
To hasten the swelling of the stem in autumn, the
lower leaves are removed as soon as they begin to look
yellowish. When mature, the swollen stems freed
from leaves and roots may be stored in dry, airy
cellars, etc., where they will be free from frost.
Celeriac is now becoming better known in England,
and it deserves attention on the part of market growers.
CHICORY, BARBE DE CAPUCIN, AND
Under these names, plants of Cichorium Intybus are
largely grown for salading. To raise the plants, seeds
may be sown in shallow drills in the open air in March
or April, and if the green leaves only are used for
salads, the seedlings need not be thinned out. The
leaves are cut off close to the ground several times
during the year when required.
When " Barbe de Capucin " is wanted, seeds are
sown in the same way and at the same time. The
seedlings, however, are thinned out about 6 in. apart.
About October the long thick roots are taken up, and
are placed in close dark cellars or frames, with a little
soil over them. Market growers place the roots up-
right on a hot-bed side by side, after clearing off the
old leaves. They are covered with about a foot of
gritty soil. In about three weeks' time, long narrow
leaves, 10 to 12 in. long, are produced in the dark,
and, being beautifully blanched, form
an excellent salad. When leaves
cease to develop, the roots are taken
out, and replaced with fresh ones
from time to time during the winter
months. The soil is watered occa-
sionally if inclined to be dry.
Another form of Chicory is that
known as " Witloof " (i.e. white leaf)
or "Brussels Chicory" (fig. 32). It
has thicker roots, and larger and
wider leaves than the Barbe de
Capucin. The roots are lifted about
the end of October, and onwards
during the winter, in the way already
described. The old leaves are taken
off, and trimmed within ij in. of
the top of the root, and any side
roots are also suppressed. The main roots are then
shortened to 8 or 10 in. in length. A trench, about
18 in. deep and 4 ft. or more wide, is then made,
and afterwards filled up with light, rich, gritty soil.
In this the roots are planted, so that the crowns are
about 8 or 10 in. below the surface. To secure quick
growth, about i ft. of hot manure is then spread over
the bed, and about a month afterwards beautiful pale
FIG. 32. WITLOOF
yellowish heads of excellent flavour are produced.
The heads are gathered before the tips reach the
manure when within i in. or so from it, in fact
otherwise they would become discoloured and spoiled.
A little raffia may be tied round the tops to keep the
blanched leaves together. Witloof is eaten in a raw
or cooked state.
CORN SALAD OR LAMB'S LETTUCE
This native annual (V alerianella olitoria) is becoming
more and more highly esteemed as a salad in England
each year, but it has long been common in France.
FIG. 33. ROUND-LEAVED CORN SALAD.
The Round-leaved variety (" Ronde ") is the one most
highly favoured by the Parisian market-gardeners
( n g- 33) but there are several others, perhaps the best
being the large-leaved Italian Corn Salad, or Regence.
About the end of July or early in August seeds
for the first crop are sown " broadcast," and then at
124 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
intervals of three or four weeks until the end of October
at the rate of about 3 or 4 oz. to 120 square yards.
Before sowing, of course, the ground is lightly dug,
trodden down again, and nicely levelled. After the
seeds are sown, the surface is raked over, and some
growers also add a light sprinkling of finely sifted
mould. If the weather is very dry, a good watering
will hasten germination, and is indeed essential to
avoid failure altogether.
Many growers sow seeds of Chervil or Radishes at
the same time as the Corn Salad, as one does not
interfere with the other. Others, again, sow Corn
Salad among such crops as Chicory, Endive, Cauli-
flowers, and Cabbages.
By sowing the Italian Corn Salad, or Regence, in
October, either by itself or with the Round-leaved,
a good succession will be kept up during the winter
months, if mild.
The long- fruited green Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) ,
as seen in England, are cultivated also by the Parisian
market-gardeners, and much in the same way as in
our glass-houses. In addition to these, however,
" White " Cucumbers and small Prickly Cucumbers,
or " Cornichons," are more or less extensively grown.
The first early crops of long- fruited Cucumbers can
only be brought to perfection under glass during the
early months of the year, and although they may
realise a good price, it must not be forgotten that a
great deal of the profit is eaten up by the high price
of the coke or coal used in heating the boilers.
Frame Culture. In the first half of February, and
again a month later in the first half of March,
Cucumber seeds may be sown on a gentle hot-bed,
with a temperature of 60 to 65 Fahr., placing the
seeds either in rows in the soil covering the bed, or
in pots, or " pockets " (i.e. small holes made in the
surface). A gentle watering is given, air is excluded,
and mats are put on the lights at night for protection.
About ten or twelve days after sowing, when the
seed leaves and first true leaves are well developed,
the young Cucumber plants will be ready for moving
into another bed with a similar temperature, allowing
about 3 in. between each. The plants are sprinkled
overhead, as before, with tepid water, no air is given
for a few days, and shading is given from the sun.
In a few days growth recommences, and the lights are
tilted a little more and more each day, so that the air
may harden the young plants and keep them sturdy.
Towards evening, of course, " air is taken off " that
is, the lights are closed, and mats are spread over
them in case of frost.
While the pricked- out plants are growing on, another
hot-bed, 18 in. or 2 ft. thick, should be prepared for
those that are fit for moving about the second week
in March. From 6 to 8 in. of rich mould is spread
over the surface of the bed, and when the rank steam
has passed away, and the heat has subsided to about
70 or 65 Fahr., the bed will be ready for planting.
Each little Cucumber is then carefully lifted, with a
ball of soil adhering to the roots, and by means of a
trowel, or even by hand, it is planted in the new frame
up to the seed-leaves. Four Cucumbers are placed
under each light, and when planting is finished tepid
126 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
water is sprinkled over the plants before closing up
the lights. No air is given for two or three days, so
as to encourage the plants to " pick up " again quickly,
and strong sunlight is also excluded for a few days
for the same reason. Nor must covering up with mats
at night be forgotten. Once growth has started, air
is given on all fine days, and a sprinkling with tepid
water is given in the morning and afternoon to en-
courage active growth.
When four or five leaves are borne on the main stem,
the latter is pinched off i or 2 in. above the second
leaf. This will cause two side branches to develop
in due course. Before this takes place, however, a
layer of straw or clean litter is spread over the surface
of the bed. When the side branches are about i ft.
long, these are also shortened back a little, in front
of the second or third leaf. A third set of shoots will
then commence to develop from these, and when they
are about i ft. long, they must also be shortened back
to the second or third leaf in the same way.
As soon as the young fruits have commenced to
swell, the best and most shapely one is selected, and
the shoot carrying it is pinched or shortened back to
two leaves beyond the fruits. All others are sup
pressed. When this first fruit has grown about two-
thirds of its natural size, a second fruit is chosen in
the same way as the first, and when this attains
two-thirds of its growth a third fruit is selected to
keep up the succession ; and so on with other fruits,
so that each plant may develop a dozen or more one
after the other. All long shoots are then pinched
back from time to time.
Watering, of course, must be attended to each day
if necessary, taking care to use water having the same
temperature as that in the frame. If very cold water
is used, the plants are likely to be chilled and stopped
in growth. Air is given by " tilting " the frames on
all fine days until the afternoon, when the lights should
be closed to keep in the warmth during the night.
Cucumbers grown in this way, from seeds sown in
February, are fit for cutting in April ; in May and
June from seeds sown a month or so later.
Cucumbers under Cloches. Seeds may be sown in
the first half of April in gentle hot-beds in the way
already described, afterwards placing the young
plants out in frames, and keeping them close and
shaded for two or three days, until they start again
into growth. Towards the end of April trenches and
holes, each about 2 ft. wide, i ft. deep, and about
2^ ft. apart, are made in a straight line on a warm
sheltered border. These holes or trenches are filled
with good manure to make a little hot-bed about
1 8 in. deep. The soil taken out is then spread over
the heaps of manure in a layer about 8 in. thick, and
a basin is made on top of each to accommodate a few
handfuls of rich mould. When the rank heat has
subsided, a young Cucumber plant is placed in the
centre of each heap up to the seed-leaves, taking care
beforehand to lift each plant with a nice ball of soil
round the roots. The plants are watered well to
settle the soil round them, after which each one is
covered with a cloche, the upper two-thirds of which
has been smeared with liquid whiting, lime, or clay,
to serve as a shading against the sun. For three or
four days the cloches are kept shut down on the soil,
to encourage new growth. After this, however, the
128 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
plants are ventilated on all fine days by raising the
cloches one, two, or three notches on the " tilts "
in the way shown at p. 42. At night-time it may be
necessary to cover the cloches with mats for protection
against frost. When the plants have commenced to
grow freely, the main shoot at first, and the others
afterwards, must be pinched or shortened back in
the same way as recommended for the plants grown
under lights in frames, the only difference being that
the shoots are left somewhat longer. The plants are
watered well when necessary, and the cloches are
taken off the plants altogether on fine days, replacing
them towards evening. In due course the shoots
will extend beyond the circumference of the cloches,
and the latter may then be placed on three tilts to
allow the shoots to spread naturally while protecting
the main portion of the plant. As the weather is
usually fine by the time the plants reach this stage,
there is little danger from frosts, and the first fruits
from Cucumbers grown in this way will be ready from
the middle of June and onwards till the end of August.
Open-air Culture. Cucumbers grown in the open
air are generally raised from seeds sown in April in
gentle hot-beds, afterwards transplanting in the way
described about the end of May on little hot-beds for
each plant. Seeds are often sown in such beds in May,
and the plants from them are allowed to grow on
without being disturbed. In the early stages it is
wise to cover the plants with cloches until they are
well established. While developing their growth, the
vacant soil between the plants and along the margins
of the beds may be utilised for a " catch crop " of
Lettuces or Radishes. " White-fruited " Cucumbers,
although practically unknown in British gardens,
form a marketable crop in Paris. From inquiries
made in the " Halles," as the Covent Garden of Paris
is called, I was told that " White " Cucumbers were
not grown anything like so extensively as the long
green-fruited varieties although the quantity grown
found a ready sale. The fruits are somewhat similar
in shape to the green ones, and at first are of the same
colour. In the course of time, however, they pass
from green to greenish-yellow, and ultimately to a
kind of waxy or creamy white.
The raising, planting, and general cultivation is
precisely the same as already described for the green
PRICKLY CUCUMBERS OR " CORNICHONS." The small
green Cucumbers chiefly used in pickles in England
are extensively grown in the neighbourhood of Paris,
and large quantities of them may be seen in the
Paris markets during the summer months. These
little Cucumbers must not be confounded with the
small stunted fruits of the ordinary long green Cu-
cumber. They are obtained from a special variety
called " Cornichon vert petit de Paris." This is strong
and hardy, and easily grown. The seeds are generally
sown in gentle hot-beds early in May. In due course
the young plants are pricked out in frames, and by
the end of May or early in June they are again lifted
with a nice ball of soil, and planted in little heaps
of soil in the same way as Cucumbers. The shoots
must be pinched to the third or fourth leaf, and when
the branches are well developed a layer of straw or
litter is placed on the soil for them to ramble over.
The first fruits are ready by the middle or end of
130 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
July, and may be picked every two or three days
until the crop is finished. The fruits are usually fit
to gather about a week or ten days after the flowers
have set well.
Insect Pests, etc. Cucumbers grown in frames, under
cloches, and in the open air are not so subject to
attacks of insect pests and fungoid diseases as those
grown in hot-houses. At the same time a watch must
be kept at all times for slugs, who are very fond of
them, and can only be kept in check by sprinkling
a little lime and soot on the soil, and also by severing
the bodies with a knife blade whenever they are seen.
" Red spider " is a well-known Cucumber pest causing
the under-surface of the leaves to assume a rusty
appearance. As a dry atmosphere is the chief cause
of " red spider," the natural remedy is to keep the
surroundings fairly moist by watering and syringing
as frequently as the growth of the plant and the
weather necessitates. The " eel- worms " which are such
a terrible pest in hot-houses, where they attack the
roots of the Cucumbers, are not so prevalent in frames
or the open air. When they appear, the plants are
rendered useless and crops should not be grown in the
same soil or in the same place a second time. The
old soil also should be burned before using for other
This well-known plant (Taraxacum Dens-Leonis) is
usually treated with scant respect in the British
Islands, although a few sensible market-gardeners are
well aware of its value as a salad plant. The market-
gardeners of Paris have paid attention to its cultivation
for at least half a century, and it is now regarded as
a regular garden crop by many notwithstanding its
abundance as a wild plant. Selection and cultivation
have produced a better kind of Dandelion altogether,
and plants are now to be obtained as large as small
Cabbage Lettuces. Cultivation is simple. The seeds
are sown in March and April, and the young plants
are pricked out from May to August in rows, 12 to
15 in. apart, in a deep rich soil, the richer the better.
During growth the hoe is frequently used, and plenty
of water is given during dry seasons. The leaves may
be picked during the autumn and winter months.
If the roots are covered with a layer of soil in October,
and forced in the same way as recommended for Barbe
de Capucin (see p. 121), the Dandelion makes an
EGG-PLANTS OR AUBERGINES
The long violet-fruited Aubergine or Egg-plant
(Solanum Melongena) is seen so regularly in the French
and Belgian markets that it is astonishing the
taste for this easily-grown fruit or vegetable has not
yet spread to British gardens. The variety called
Violette de Tokio is considered to be earlier than
the ordinary kind. It is, moreover, dwarf er in habit
and has larger fruits.
The plant is an annual, and is a native of India,
and is also found in Africa and subtropical America.
To secure the first-early crops, seeds are sown about
the end of November in the neighbourhood of Paris,
on a hot-bed when the temperature is about 70 to
75 Fahr., covering them lightly with gritty mould.
132 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
No air is given for a week or so and the lights are
covered with mats to accelerate germination. When
this takes place, light must be admitted, and the
mats are only put on at night for protection.
A month or six weeks after sowing, the young plants
are pricked out on similar hot-beds, allowing 3 to 4 in.
between each. A gentle watering is given. The lights
are kept closed for a few days, and the young plants
are shaded from the sunshine. As soon as signs of
fresh growth appear, a little air is given in fine weather
to keep the plants sturdy.
Where space, manure, and lights are available, Egg-
plants may be pricked out a second time a fortnight
or so after the first one, at least 6 in. being left between
the plants on this occasion.
From eight to ten weeks after the seeds have been
sown that is to say, about the end of January, or early
in February the plants should be placed in their
fruiting frames. The beds in these need not be quite
so hot as those first made, as the temperature outside
is gradually increasing each day. The bed is covered
with about 8 in. of a compost half of which is sandy
loam and half rich old manure. About six or nine
plants are then carefully placed in each light, and a
good watering completes the work. The lights are
kept closed and the plants shaded for a few days,
until they become re-established.
Intercropping. The space between the Egg-plants
need not be wasted. Seeds of " Gotte " or " George "
Lettuces and Radishes may be sown between them,
or young Lettuces of the varieties mentioned may be
pricked out in the rows.
As soon as the Egg-plants have again started into
EGG-PLANTS OR AUBERGINES 133
growth, air must be given on all favourable occasions,
otherwise the plants will become " drawn " and
When the main shoot carries two fertile flowers (not
double or semi-double ones), the top may be pinched
out. This results in the development in due course
of four or five branches, each one of which is shortened
back a little above the second flower. From -ten to
twelve fruits are thus secured on each plant, or from
sixty to a hundred or more in each light. After the
branches have been stopped in growth by pinching, all
other side shoots are rigorously suppressed as they
appear, so that the sap shall not be deflected from the
The general cultural treatment consists in giving
plenty of air on all mild days, to keep the plants as
dwarf and sturdy as possible ; watering in the morning
as required by the freedom of growth, and an occasional
syringing with soapy water in the event of insect
attacks. If any of the plants are too weak to stand
alone, a stake must be placed to such, and the main
stem and branches tied to it with raffia. In the event
of the plants becoming too tall for the lights before it
is safe to remove these altogether, extra height is
secured by placing a second frame on top of the first.
The fruits from the first crop sown at the end of
November generally ripen about five months after
sowing the seeds, which brings the season to about
the end of April or early in May.
A succession of fruits may be kept up by sowing
seeds every month or six weeks according to require-
ments. With each succeeding crop less heat is re-
quired in the beds, and at the end of May onwards
134 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
the lights may be removed altogether if fine weather
It is doubtful if it would be worth the while of any
British market-grower to devote space to the culture
of Egg-plants, as even in France the prices realised
of late years have declined a good deal.
Endive (Cichorium Endivia), supposed to have come
originally from India, is an excellent salad plant, and
as such is extensively grown by French market-gar-
deners. Although treated as an annual, Endive is
really a biennial, and may be divided into two distinct
kinds one having the leaves broad and entire, the
other having the leaves finely cut into crisped and
narrow segments. The broad-leaved Endives are
known as " Scaroles " or " Escaroles " to French
gardeners, while the varieties with finely cut and
divided leaves are called " Chicorees frisees." Of the
latter there are many varieties, the best-known being
the Italian, or " Chicoree fine d'ete," one of the quickest
growing and much cultivated in frames. Others are
the " Stag's Horn," or Rouen, Picpus, Ruffec, Meaux
(Fine-curled Winter), Passion, and Reine d'hiver
(Winter Queen), La Parisienne or Green Curled Paris
(fig. 34) all excellent varieties for growing in the open
air, although the first-named (the Rouen) is grown
in frames in spring.
Frame Culture. Early in September, and again in
October, seeds of the Italian Endive (Chicoree fine
d'ete) are sown under cloches, but not on hot-beds.
When large enough to handle, the seedlings are pricked
out a dozen under each cloche. About the end of
October or early in November plants are also pricked
out into cold frames, giving as much air as possible after
the first few days, so as to prevent the young plants
rotting or " damping off." These plants will be fit to
gather in January and February, and, if necessary,
the frames which have been utilised for their culture
then become available for forcing Asparagus (see p. 76) .
FIG. 34. GREEN CURLED PARIS ENDIVE (LA PARISIENNE;.
Hot-bed Culture. About the middle of October a
hot-bed is made up, and when the heat has subsided
until the temperature is about 75 to 85 Fahr., about
5 in. of gritty mould is spread over the surface which
should be not more than 2 or 3 in. away from the glass.
The seeds are then sown, some growers afterwards
covering them lightly with a little fine gritty mould,
others contenting themselves by patting them down
with a piece of board. In either case a gentle^ watering
136 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
is given, the lights are put on the frames, and are
covered with mats. This is to ensure rapid germina-
tion, which is necessary to prevent the plants running
to seed afterwards, and takes place in about forty-
eight hours or less, if the seeds are not too old.
Once the young plants appear, the mats are put on
at night and taken off as early as possible in the
morning, and the lights are tilted a little to admit
fresh air on all occasions when the weather is favour-
Pricking out. About ten or fifteen days after the
seeds have been sown, the young plants will be ready
for pricking out, either with the finger or a small stick.
For this purpose another hot-bed, similar to the first,
must have been prepared, the only difference being
that the surface of the mould spread over the manure
must be from 4 to 5 in. away from the glass. The
young plants are spaced out 2 to 3 in. from each
other all ways, and are buried up to the seed-leaves
in the soil. The seedlings are gently watered with a
fine-rosed waterpot, and after the lights are put on
the frames they are not opened for two or three days,
until the young plants have recovered. The mats,
of course, are put on every night and taken off every
day, and a little air is given to strengthen the plants
on fine days.
Transplanting. From two to three weeks that is,
about the middle of November after the young
Endives have been pricked out as above, they will
be large enough for transplanting finally. This will
be done on another prepared bed having a temperature
of 70 to 80 Fahr. The manure in the hot-bed should
be covered with a compost about 6 in. thick, made up
of two-thirds leaf-soil or old manure and one-third
gritty loam or good garden soil. The surface now
should be about 5 or 6 in. from the glass, to allow the
plants sufficient space to heart up. About three dozen
plants are placed under each light, after which they
are nicely watered and kept " close " for a few days,
and also slightly shaded.
Once established, air is given on all fine days on the
leeward side, and the plants are given water whenever
they require it, judging by the condition of the soil,
FIG. 35. BROAD-LEAVED BATAVIAN ENDIVE.
etc. At night-time mats must be spread over the
lights sometimes two or three thick in very frosty
weather. They should, however, be removed as early
as possible in the morning.
In the event of the heat declining in the beds, it
will also be necessary to " line " the frames with fresh
About the end of January that is about three
months and a half from the date of sowing the seeds
in mid-October the Endives will be ready to gather.
Seeds of Endive may also be sown in the way de-
scribed about the middle of January, to be ready by
138 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
the middle of March ; and again in the middle of
February for gathering in May. As the season ad-
vances and becomes naturally warmer, it will not be
necessary to make the hot-beds so thick or with so
much fresh manure as for those used during the colder
months of the year.
From the middle of March, fine-leaved Endives may
be sown under cloches or in cold frames, pricking out
the seedlings and transplanting in due course in the
way already described. As the season advances, the
lights or cloches may be taken off the plants altogether
in fine weather. They must be kept growing steadily
by giving plenty of water, almost every day it does
not rain, otherwise there is a danger of the plants
running to seed or " bolting."
Intercropping. During the summer months Endives
in the open air are intercropped with Cos and Cabbage
Lettuces, and later on in the season Spinach or
Corn Salad is often sown between the rows. I have
seen such plantations in the neighbourhood of Vitry
in August, and was astonished at the use made of
every square inch of ground.
The broad-leaved or " Scarole " Endives possess a
hardy constitution and are finely flavoured. The most
popular varieties are the "Batavian" or "Scarole ronde,"
" Green-market " or " Vertemaraichere," chiefly grown
for autumn and winter use ; while the " Scarole blonde,"
or " Lettuce-leaved Endive," is an early variety that
comes into use in June and July from seeds sown
about the middle of April on a bed having a tempera-
ture of 65 to 70 Fahr. The " blonde " Endives are
planted about i ft. apart every way, but the "Batavian"
(fig. 35) (" ronde ") or " Verte maraichere " kinds
require another 2 in. Another large variety called
" S ' carole geante " or " Giant Batavian," owing to its
size and vigour, requires about 18 in. between each
plant, to allow it to reach its proper size.
The autumn plantations should be made not later
than the first week in September as a rule ; and then
it would be wise to have the plants in beds of the
same width as the lights and frames generally in use,
as these are handy for protection if necessary.
Blanching and Tying. There are many ways of
blanching Endives, but one of the simplest is to tie
the plants up in the same way as recommended for
Lettuces when they are sufficiently developed say
when more than three-fourths of their growth has
been made. When the frosts appear, the plants
may be lifted carefully with a spade and transferred
to cellars or placed in frames spreading some dry
litter or straw over the plants in the latter to exclude
the light. In the open air, after the plants are tied
up, they must be liberally watered when necessary,
to encourage the whitening " hearts " in the centre
to mature as rapidly as possible.
The Leek (Allium Porrum) constitutes an important
crop in French as well as in English market-gardens,
and it is probable that, so far as open-air culture is
concerned, there is but little difference in methods
employed on both sides of the Channel.* Ideas,
however, differ a good deal, and the French prefer
the smaller and more quickly grown tender-stemmed
140 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Leeks to the excessively large specimens seen in
The varieties selected for early crops by the Parisian
gardeners are known as the " Rouen," the " Long Winter
Paris " (Long d'hiver de Paris), the " Large Yellow
Poitou " (Gros Jaune du Poitou), and the " Gros
Court " or " Ete," to which may be added the well-
known ' ' Lyon ' ' and ' ' Musselburgh ' ' varieties. Which-
ever variety is chosen, the main object in view is
to secure Leeks of medium size in the early days
Seeds are sown thickly in the latter half of December
on a hot-bed about 15 in. deep and with a temperature
of 60 to 65 Fahr. To hasten germination, it is a
good plan to soak the seeds in luke-warm water for
about twelve hours more or less in advance. If the
primary root in the seed begins to show, it may be
taken for granted that the seeds have soaked long
enough. They should then be sown at once, on a
layer about 4 in. deep of rich gritty soil that has
been spread over the manure in the beds, and lightly
covered with gritty mould. Each day the soil should
be sprinkled with tepid water until the plants are
well above the surface. At this stage a little air
may be given by tilting the lights on all fine days,
but care must be taken not to subject the seedlings
to cold draughts of air, as these cause a chill and
consequent stagnation of growth. At night it will
be found more or less necessary to spread a mat or
two over the lights according to the weather, but
such coverings must be taken off as early as possible
the morning following.
This treatment is kept up with occasional waterings
until about the end of February or early in March.
The young Leeks are then fit for pricking out into
another fairly good hot-bed. Only the very best
plants are selected, and these may have the roots
and the leaves cut back in the same way as recom-
mended for Spring Onions (see p. 186). A space of
3 or 4 in. is left between the little Leeks, and care
is taken to bury them deeply leaving only an inch
or two showing above the surface, because deep
planting means beautiful white stems later on. A
good soaking is given, and no air is admitted for a
few days until the plants have recovered. Afterwards
air is given more or less freely on all favourable occa-
sions, and the Leeks will be ready early in June.
From the same seed-bed Leeks may also be planted
early in March on warm, sheltered borders in the
open air, after cutting the roots and tops, and they
will succeed those planted in the frames. They should
be kept nicely watered in dry weather to keep the
Open-air Culture. The soil for Leeks in the open
air cannot be too rich and deep to secure the best
results. Seeds may be sown at four different periods
to keep up a succession, namely, (i) in February or
March sow " Gros Court " or " Jaune du Poitou " to
yield Leeks in August and September ; (ii) in April
and May sow " Rouen " to yield from October on-
wards ; (iii) in July sow " Long Winter Paris " to
yield at the end of winter and early spring ; and (iv)
sow the same variety in the first half of September to
yield in April and May and June the following year.
In all cases except the September sowing the
seeds should be sown thickly, as the plants are thus
142 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
kept very straight by crowding. When the stems
are about as thick as an ordinary slate-pencil they
should be lifted carefully, and the best selected for
transplanting, after the roots and tops have been
cut as described for Onions (see p. 186). The seeds
sown in September should be sown thinly in drills,
and as the weather is generally unfavourable, the
Leeks are allowed to develop to the required size in
An excellent way to secure nice Leeks from the
earlier sowings is to select a piece of ground that
has been deeply dug or trenched, and heavily manured
the previous season. Drills about 2 in. deep and i ft.
apart are drawn running north and south if possible.
In these drills the best Leeks are planted deeply
and 6 in. apart, after the tips of the roots and tops
have been cut off. After planting, the soil is given
a good watering, and when the Leeks are in full
growth afterwards, attention must be given to watering
when necessary. Indeed, weak liquid manure from
the stables or cow-sheds, or made from guano and
soot, etc., given two or three times a week will keep
the plants in an active state o ; * growth until they are
required for use.
As a salad, perhaps, there is no other plant equal
in importance and popularity to the Lettuce (Lactuca
saliva). It is quite as popular in the British Islands
as on the Continent, and it is not too much to say
that millions of plants are grown in market-gardens
alone in England to meet the great demand there is
for them especially in hot seasons.
There are two distinct kinds of Lettuces grown,
namely, (i) the " Cabbage Lettuce " (Lactma capi-
tata), and (ii) the " Cos " or " Romaine " Lettuce
(Lactuca sativa). Each kind has several varieties,
some being more suitable for frame and bell-glass
culture, while others nourish in the open air.
They may be classified as follows for intensive
I. CABBAGE LETTUCES
(a) EARLY OR " PRIMEUR " CABBAGE LETTUCES.
The seeds of the varieties belonging to this group are
generally sown between September i and the end of
February, and again in March for a succession on
The varieties most in favour with Parisian growers
1. The Crepe or Petite noire Lettuce (white and
black-seeded varieties). Both kinds are grown exten-
sively for the first-early crops, for which they are
specially adapted, as they " heart up " without much
air or water.
2. Gotte Lettuce (white and black-seeded varieties).
The White-seeded Gotte (syn. Tennis Ball, Boston
Market) is an excellent small-hearted frame Lettuce,
but is not so early as the Black-seeded Gotte (syn.
Paris Market Forcing). Good sub- varieties of the
Gotte Lettuce are Tom Thumb, Jaune d'Or (syn.
Golden Frame), the George, and another form of the
Paris market forcing variety, Gotte lente d monter (or
Black-seeded Tom Thumb).
144 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
(b) SECOND EARLY OR SUMMER CABBAGE LETTUCES.
i. Blond d'ete or Royale (syn. White-seeded All-
the-Year-Round) . An excellent variety, nearly all
" heart," small, but very prolific and early, and much
2. Palatine (syn. Brown Genoa), a large-hearted,
quick-growing variety, the leaves of which are washed
with coppery red beneath.
3. Grosse brune paresseuse (syn. Black-seeded Giant
Summer Lettuce or Mogul). A hardy and very
FIG. 36. WHITE STONE CABBAGE LETTUCE (GROSSE BLONDE
productive Lettuce, forming a high centre, tinged with
brown (fig. 44).
4. Grosse blonde paresseuse (syn. White Stone or
Nonpareil Cabbage Lettuce). An excellent summer
Lettuce, with large tender long-standing heads (fig. 36).
5. Blonde de Chavigny (syn. Chavigny White-
seeded Lettuce). A quick-hearting variety with
pleasing yellowish-tinted green leaves.
6. Merveille des Quatre Saisons (syn. All the Year
Round). An excellent Cabbage Lettuce for all seasons
if a red-tinted variety is required.
To the above may be added the Brown or Red
CABBAGE LETTUCES 145
Dutch Cabbage Lettuce (Rousse de Hollande), the
Presbytery, Brown Champagne, and the White
For " outdoor " crops in the British Islands, it
may probably be safer, if not wiser at first, to rely
upon standard varieties that have been well proved.
At the same time the sensible grower will test several
varieties in the hope of securing something better
than he has already.
(c) WINTER CABBAGE LETTUCES. The varieties in
this group naturally follow those produced in the
summer and autumn, and are raised from seeds sown
in August and September, to be grown on during
the winter months with or without protection. The
most popular varieties are :
1. The Passion. There are two varieties of this
the white-seeded and the black-seeded. The former
(called " blonde ") is recognised by the reddish tint
of the foliage, while the black-seeded variety has
pale green foliage without the reddish tint (see fig. 45).
2. Grosse blonde d'hiver (syn. Winter White Cabbage
Lettuce) is a hardy variety, and produces its large
tender hearts early.
3. Morine (syn. Hammersmith, or Hardy Green
Winter Cabbage Lettuce). This is a small, but very
hardy and productive Lettuce of good quality.
4. Winter Tremont. A good and very hardy
variety with large white hearts, the outer leaves,
however, being tinted with rusty brown (see fig. 46) .
CULTURE OF THE " CREPE " OR " PETITE NOIRE "
LETTUCES. The first sowing of these Lettuces takes
place early in September, and may be made either on
146 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
a warm sheltered border, a raised bed, or an old hot-
bed protected by cloches or lights. When sown on a
border the soil is first of all deeply dug and then levelled
with the rake. The surface is covered over with a
good inch or more of mould made up of old manure
and gritty soil passed through a sieve.
The seeds are sown fairly thick, and lightly covered
with the gritty mould, after which the seed-bed is
gently patted down to bring the soil and seeds into
closer contact. If inclined to be too dry, the seed-
bed is gently watered to settle the soil and encourage
When the seeds are to be sown under cloches, each
little seed-bed is marked out by pressing down a
cloche upon the prepared surface of the soil so that
the imprint of its circumference is plainly seen. After
sowing, the seeds are lightly covered with fine soil.
The cloches are then placed over them, taking care
to press the rims firmly into the soil to exclude air
and to check evaporation. Germination at this period
of the year usually takes place under the cloches in a
few days. If the sun happens to be too ardent at the
time, the cloches should be shaded with litter or mats,
but no air is given. When, however, the young plants
appear, shading must only be given when the sun
becomes too hot, otherwise the plants become " drawn "
and pale in colour.
Pricking out. When the seed-leaves or cotyledons
are well developed and the first true leaves begin to
form, French gardeners prepare to prick out the young
plants, either on a raised bed or " ados " (see p. 13),
or under cloches or lights.
In the case of a raised bed this should be well ex-
CABBAGE LETTUCES 147
posed to the south if possible, and be higher at the
back than at the front, the width being the regulation
one of 4|- ft.
Three rows of cloches are placed on each raised bed.
Under each cloche twenty-four or thirty Lettuces are
pricked out (see figs. 37-8), the outer row being about
2 in. away from the rim of the glass so that the young
plants may not be injured by frost. In the event
of any becoming frosted they should be pulled out
and thrown away, as they rarely heart up properly
FIG. 37. SHOWING HOW 24 SEED- FIG. 38. SHOWING HOW 30 SEED-
LINGS ARE TO BE PRICKED OUT LINGS ARE TO BE PRICKED OUT
UNDER A CLOCHE. UNDER A CLOCHE.
The young plants are usually pricked out with the
finger, as there are fewer failures in this way than if a
dibber or a pointed stick is used. It is also a quicker
way of pricking out a large number of plants, and
French gardeners are often whole days at a time on
their knees at this particular work.
When the work is finished, the young plants are
lightly sprinkled over with tepid water, and no air
is given for a few days.
When frames are used, they are placed in a position
sloping towards the south. They are filled up with
mould to within 3 or 4 in. of the lights. A layer of
148 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
fine sifted sandy mould about an inch thick is then
spread over the soil, and the young plants are pricked
out with the finger about 2J- to 3 in. apart, after
which they are gently watered, and kept " close/'
i.e. without air, for a few days until growth re-
Of course the little plants are carefully raised from
the seed-bed so that as little injury as possible is done
to the tender rootlets.
Shading. Whether the young plants are under
cloches or under lights, it is advisable during the first
few days to shade them from strong sunshine. Once
they have recovered a little air may be given to keep
them sturdy. On the approach of early frosts the
lights and cloches must be covered with mats during
the night, and dry leaves and litter must be placed
round the cloches.
First Crop of " Crepe " Lettuces. About the middle
of October, or even earlier, the Lettuces that have
been pricked out under cloches or in frames in the
way described above will be ready for transplanting
to their final quarters. Beds about 4^ ft. wide are
prepared by digging and levelling, but there is no
need to use raised beds or " ados " at this period.
Old beds from which other crops have been gathered
are often used for this purpose, and as the plants
require but little heat, the old manure and soil is simply
turned over and made up afresh.
When cloches are used, three rows as usual are
arranged, and under each one four plants of these
" Crepe " Lettuces are planted. In frames about 49 (in
rows 7 by 7) or 56 (in rows 8 by 7) plants are placed
under each light.
CABBAGE LETTUCES 149
Each plant is lifted with a " ball " of soil round the
roots, and any dead or decaying leaves at the base
are carefully picked off. Care must also be taken
not to place the " collar " of the plant too low in the
soil, otherwise the lower leaves come in contact with
the moist earth, and may be attacked by mildew.
After the plants are in position, a sprinkling of
tepid water may be given to settle the soil round them,
No air, however, is given to these early crops of " Crepe "
Lettuces, and once established it is even dangerous
to give them water overhead. If the manure in the
pathways is kept wet they will secure sufficient mois-
ture by capillary attraction (see p. 15). Protection
from frost by covering with mats at night and by
placing dry manure or litter round the cloches or
frames must also be attended to as required.
This first crop of " Crepe " Lettuces ought to be
ready for sale by the beginning of December, or even
by the end of November, according to the season.
The Lettuce plants are frequently examined and
any decaying leaves are carefully removed to prevent
the spread of mildew.
Second and Successive Crops of l( Crepe " Lettuces.
About every fortnight seeds may be sown to keep up
a succession. Many growers, however, substitute the
"George" Gotte Lettuce for the "Crepe" for the
sowings at the end of February and during March.
The sowings of " Crepe " Lettuce made in October,
November, and December are always made by them-
selves ; but those made at the end of December,
January, February, and beginning of March may be
intercropped with Cauliflowers. Besides, they are
made on the same beds as the preceding, which will
150 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
have been re-made by adding about one-third of fresh
manure to the old.
About the middle of February the old beds are
sometimes re-made with a little fresh manure for the
third crop. If, however the plants appear to stand
still the frames must be " lined " or " banked up ''
with hot manure, no matter what the period of the
year may be. Of course the mats are taken off the
lights and cloches every morning as early as possible
to admit light to the plants. It is well, however,
before uncovering altogether to make sure that the
plants have not been frosted. If they have, instead
of taking off the mats, others are added so that the
thawing may take place as slowly as possible. By
this means injury to the plants is avoided.
In December, many growers, instead of making
up special beds for Lettuces, plant the " Crepe " variety
on top of the Carrots which have been sown, and they
are ready about fifty days after-
wards that is, some time in
If the frost increases in seve-
rity, the frames are kept warm
by filling the pathways with hot
manure up to the top of the
FIG. 39. SHOWING HOW . .
ONE Cos (IN THE GEN- hghts, and it may be necessary
TRE) AND 4 CABBAGE to have a double covering of
LETTUCES AREPLANTED , . ,1 . , ,
UNDER A CLOCHE. mats during the night.
The last crop of " Crepe "
Lettuce is planted in January or February according
to the weather. A hot-bed 12 to 14 in. thick is pre-
pared. The surface is covered with a layer about 4 in.
thick of nice gritty mould, and then the cloches are
CABBAGE LETTUCES 151
placed in position in three rows as usual. Under each
cloche four " Crepe" Lettuces with one Cos (Romaine)
in the centre are planted (see fig. 39). During the
night they are covered with mats as usual, and
generally attended to, with the result that the plants
are mature by the end of February or during
CULTURE OF " GOTTE " LETTUCE. As already stated
there are two varieties of " Gotte " Lettuce the black-
seeded or " Paris Market," and the white-seeded or
[< Tennis Ball." The latter is larger and later in
hearting up than the former (fig. 40).
The general cultivation of "Gotte" Lettuces differs but
little from that of the "Crepe" or " Petite noire" varie-
ties. The first sowing may be
made during the second half
of October or during the early
days of November, under
cloches or on raised sloping
beds. The soil should be
rather more sandy than for
"Crepe" Lettuces. When large enough, the young
plants are pricked out under cloches and on the raised
beds. Being larger in growth than the "Crepe"
varieties, only twenty-four plants of " Gotte " Lettuce
should be placed under each cloche instead of thirty
the young plants being sprinkled and kept close for
two or three days afterwards until they pick up again.
Afterwards air is given more or less freely according
to the weather, as " Gotte " Lettuces do not heart up
well if kept too close. Besides, it is not necessary to
shut the cloches right down until two or three degrees
of frost appear. If, however, the weather remains
152 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
cold and the frosts become severe, the plants must
be protected by dry litter or mats.
About the end of January or early in February
the " Gotte " Lettuces will be ready for planting under
cloches or in frames, the soft, and beds in which have
been prepared for their reception in the meantime.
The cloches having been arranged on beds which
should be at least i ft. thick, about 4^ ft. wide,
and with about 4 in. of nice gritty mould on top
three " Gotte " Lettuces are planted under each glass,
as shown in the diagram (fig. 47), without a Cos
Lettuce in the centre, however.
In the frames, from which probably the " Crepe "
varieties have been gathered, and which have been
re-made, 36 or 42 plants may be placed under each
light. They are then gently watered in and air is
excluded for three or four days to encourage root
action and new growth. Afterwards air is given as
freely as the weather will permit, until ready for
market, which is generally about the end of March
for those planted in January, and in April for those
planted in February.
Intercropping. Very often before the earlier crops
of Lettuce are planted, Radishes are sown on the
beds ; while with the later crops, Radishes and
Carrots are also sown, although some prefer to inter-
crop with Cauliflowers. As soon as the first crops *
have been gathered, the beds are re-made and prepared
for those to follow them.
For the crops that are planted in March, many
growers substitute cloches for frames, if Carrots have
not been sown previously. Four Cabbage Lettuces
and one Cos Lettuce in the centre are planted beneath
each cloche. The spaces between the cloches are
occupied by Cauliflowers as shown in the diagram.
Before planting the Lettuces and covering with
cloches, a sowing of Carrots may also be made. This
method of cultivation enables one to secure four or
five different crops from the same soil Radishes,
Cabbage Lettuces, Romaine or Cos Lettuces, Carrots,
CULTIVATION OF THE " GEORGE " LETTUCE. Just
FIG. 41. SHOWiNG~4 CABBAGE LETTUCES AND
z'Cos LETTUCE BENEATH CLOCHES.
Cauliflowers (c) may be planted on the borders, and other later
crop Lettuces at x and * to be covered in turn with the glasses.
as the " Gotte " Lettuces naturally succeed the "Crepe "
or " Petite noire " varieties, they are themselves
succeeded by the "George" Lettuce at the end of
February or beginning of March. The " George" Lettuce
is a form of the " Gotte " but is larger in growth. The
first " George " Lettuces are ready for planting in
February on the beds or under cloches from which
a crop of " Crepe " Lettuces have been taken, the
treatment as to watering, shading, protection from
154 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
frost, and ventilation being the same as already
described. The " George " Lettuces planted in
February are generally fit for " pulling " by the
end of March. At this period the'* George " Lettuces
may also be planted in the open air on a warm and
sheltered border, the young plants having been pre-
viously raised and pricked out under cloches. These
open-air Lettuces " heart up " during May.
THE " PALATINE " OR " RED " CABBAGE LETTUCE.
-This Lettuce (fig. 42) with which may be associated
other varieties known as
the "All the Year Round"
(Merveille des Quatre
Saisons) and " Brown
Champagne" (brune de
Champagne) is sown in the
latter half of October under
FIG. 42-PALATiNE CABBAGE Q oches and Qn raise d
sloping beds, the treatment
being precisely the same as for the " Gotte " and
" George " Lettuces. Air is given freely on all favour-
able occasions when the young plants have become
established, and the cloches are even taken off alto-
gether on fine days so as to keep the plants strong
During March the young plants are taken from
their winter quarters and transferred to warm sheltered
borders ; and towards the end of the same month
or early in April plantations may be made in the
open or on old beds. The soil beforehand should have
been deeply dug and levelled, and if a good layer of
old mould has been spread over it, so much the better.
The plants are spaced out about a foot apart in straight
lines, and should receive a good watering if the weather
is fine, so as to settle the soil around the roots. This
crop of Lettuces is generally fit to gather about the
end of May.
Other sowings of the same varieties may be made
at the end of February or early in March, and then
every fortnight until August, in due course planting
out about a foot apart, or intercropping with other
vegetables. Such crops take from fifty to seventy
days to mature, according to the season.
During the period of growth it will be necessary to
run the hoe between the plants to stir up the soil,
not only to keep the weeds down, but to encourage
quicker growth. In the event of very dry weather,
frequent waterings will be necessary, or a mulching
from the old manure beds may be placed on the
surface of the soil to retain the moisture.
Other Cabbage Lettuces that may be sown at the
same time as the
treated in the
same way, are
" White - seeded
Year Round "
(blonde d'ete) or
" Royal," (fig.
43) an early and
"Brown Chavigny," a strong-growing kind; the
" Large Brown Paresseuse " or " Grise " Lett ace
of the Paris market-gardeners ; and the " Brown
Champagne " all varieties of first-rate quality. With
FIG. 43. " ALL THE YEAR ROUND "
156 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
them may be associated the " Dutch Red " (Rousse
de Hollande) and the " Presbytery " Lettuce.
English growers should bear in mind the difference
in taste between French and English people. Gener-
ally speaking, brown or red-tinted Lettuces no
matter how excellent they may be do not sell so
readily in the English markets as they do in Paris.
" GRISE " OR LARGE BROWN PARESSEUSE LETTUCES.
Under these names the French market-gardeners grow
thousands of Cabbage Lettuces, which are apparently
the same as those known in England as " Giant
(fig. 44). The first
crop is sown about
the end of February
or beginning of
March on a hot-bed
or in a frame. As
there is no necessity
for such care at this
season of the year
as is necessitated by
the autumn crops, the young plants may be trans-
ferred when ready direct from the seed-bed to their
final quarters in the open frames. The labour of
pricking out is thus saved. The plants are 15 to
18 in. apart, and during dry weather are kept well
watered or mulched with old manure, so as to keep
them crisp and tender. Sowings of " Grise " Lettuces
may be made every fortnight until July, those during
the summer being made in shady places in the open.
WINTER CABBAGE LETTUCES. There are now about
half a dozen kinds of Cabbage Lettuce grown in frames
FIG. 44. GRISE OR GIANT SUMMER
CABBAGE LETTUCES 157
or under cloches during the winter months. Perhaps
the best-known at present is that called the " Passion "
of which there are two varieties, the " Red " and
the " White," so called from the colour of the foliage.
The name of " Passion " Lettuce has been given simply
because this va-
riety is usually fit
for gathering in
Passion Week, i.e.
second week be-
fore Easter. When
grown in the open
air, ' ' Passion ' ' Let-
tuces are not likely
FIG. 45. PASSION CABBAGE LETTUCE.
to be ready much
before May if the spring is cold and sunless
Other kinds of winter Lettuces are " Large White
Winter " (blonde d'hiver), a strong-growing variety
that produces a very white and tender heart early
in the season ; ' Winter Brown " (brune d'hiver), a
somewhat smaller variety, the outer leaves of which
are washed with brown ; the " Morine " or " Ham-
mersmith Green Winter," a small sturdy Lettuce ;
" Winter Red " (rouge d'hiver}, a hardy variety with
reddish foliage and a raised " heart " ; and " Winter
Tremont " (fig. 46), which has a large, firm, very white
heart, and outer leaves washed with rusty brown.
Culture. " Passion " and other winter Lettuces
may be sown from the middle of August to the middle
of September. About a month after sowing, the
young plants will be ready for pricking out in warm
sheltered positions. In ordinary mild winters they
158 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
require no special protection, nevertheless it is wise
to have a supply of straw or litter handy in case
of severe frosts, so that the plants can be covered
up when necessary. According to the prevailing
climatic conditions, the straw or litter is put on or
taken off, bearing in mind that the more the plants
FIG. 46. WINTER TREMONT CABBAGE LETTUCE.
are exposed to the light the better otherwise they
are apt to become pale in colour, and loose and flabby
II COS OR ROMAINE LETTUCES
The Cos Lettuces are quite distinct in form from the
Cabbage varieties, and are always called " Romaines "
or " Chi cons " in France. There are many varieties,
the following being generally considered the best by
Parisian growers, viz. :
1. Plate a cloches (syn. Dwarf Frame Cos Lettuce),
an early variety with leaves at first spreading.
2. Blonde maraichere (syn. Paris White Cos), an
COS OR ROMAINE LETTUCES 159
excellent Cos Lettuce, which hearts up quickly and
is very extensively grown.
3. Grise maraichere (syn. Paris Market Cos), a
variety highly esteemed for cloche culture in the
neighbourhood of Paris.
4. Verte maraichere (syn. Green Paris Market), a
variety not quite so large as the " blonde maraichere "
but somewhat earlier, and useful either for cloches or
the open air.
The first sowing of Cos or Romaine Lettuces under
cloches may be made at the end of August, without
the use of hot-beds. The soil should be deeply dug
and well prepared, and afterwards covered with an
inch or two of fine mould (old manure and gritty soil
passed through a sieve). The surface is made flat
and sufficiently firm either by patting with the back
of the spade or a piece of board.
Imprints of a cloche are taken on the surface as
many times as there are seed-beds to be sown. The
seeds are then sown within the circumference of each,
and lightly covered with fine soil, and gently watered.
Shading. If the sun is too hot, the cloches covering
the little seed-beds should be covered with mats to
encourage quick germination. When this has taken
place, however, the mats must be removed, and if the
sun is still too strong a little whiting, chalk, or lime
mixed up in water may be smeared over the cloches
on the sunny side. The whitening of the cloches is
to prevent the young plants from being scorched, and
at the same time to allow sufficient light to percolate
through the shading so that the leaves shall not turn
yellow or become drawn. A little milk, or a piece of
160 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
butter, added to the whiting, lime, or chalk will
make the liquid adhere more firmly to the glass, and
will not wash off with the first shower of rain.
The varieties of Cos Lettuce sown at this period
are the " Dwarf Frame Cos " (known as Plate d cloches)
and the " Paris Market Cos " (Grise maraichere). The
last-named kind is chiefly useful for planting between
the cloches that are covering plants of the first-named.
A well-known variety of Cos Lettuce, called " verte
maraichere" or " Green Paris Market Cos/' is not now
grown so largely by the market-gardeners of Paris as
formerly, chiefly because it has failed to realise the
best prices in market. It is, however, hardier than
either Plate a cloches or the Grise maraichere, and in
cold or bleak localities it may still be regarded as a
profitable, and even desirable, crop.
Early in September, the seedlings will have developed
two or three young leaves. They are then carefully
pricked out under cloches, so as to be ready for planting
in their final quarters in October. About twenty-four
or thirty young plants are usually pricked out under
each cloche, as shown in the diagrams (figs. 37-8).
Early in October one Cos Lettuce is planted under each
cloche, and not more than one, if the very best plants
and prices are desired. Air is excluded for a few days
after planting, and shading from strong sunshine may
be necessary with mats, but once the plants have
taken hold of the new ground, air may be given freely
on all fine days more than is usually given to Cabbage
Lettuces at the same period.
At the beginning of November hot-beds should be
prepared for Cos Lettuces that are to be " cloched."
These beds are made of the hottest and best manure,
SPRING LETTUCES 161
to ensure a steady heat during the severe weather.
In addition, it will be necessary, perhaps, to place dry
manure between the cloches, and also to fill up the
narrow pathways between the beds. Severe frosts at
night must be kept out by double or treble coverings
of mats if necessary.
When the beds are prepared, and covered with
4 or 5 in. of nice mould, one
Grise maralchere Cos Lettuce, and
three "Black Gotte" Cabbage Let-
tuces are to be planted under each
cloche, the Cos in the centre and
the Cabbage Lettuces at the points
of an equilateral triangle, as shown
in fig. 47. These Lettuces are FlG 47>
from seeds sown in September.
. It should be noted that the variety of Cos Lettuce
known as " Dwarf Frame Cos " or " Plate a cloches " is
considered unsuitable for planting with Cabbage
Lettuces in the same way as " Paris Market Cos " (Grise
mar dicker e], because its leaves at first spread out so
much towards the circumference of the cloche that
the Cabbage Lettuces would not have a fair chance of
developing. Towards maturity, however, the leaves
rise up to the top of the cloche, and then bend inwards
one over the other.
SPRING LETTUCES. For spring crops seeds of Cos
Lettuce are sown in the latter half of September, or
early in October, in the open air, or on raised sloping
beds, or under cloches. The plants are pricked out in
due course, placing twenty-four or thirty under each
cloche (see figs. 37-8) . After shading and keeping close
for a few days, air is then given on all favourable
162 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
occasions. In the event of the plants becoming
" drawn," they should be taken up carefully, have the
old or dead leaves taken off, and be replanted imme-
diately on a fresh bed, placing, however, only eighteen
or twenty plants under each cloche. They are after-
wards treated in a similar way to Cabbage Lettuces
sown at the same period.
At the end of December or early in January planting
FIG. 48. Showing 9 rows of Lettuces on same bed. The arrows
indicate how the Cloches are moved from Lettuces marked (i) to those
marked (2) and afterwards to those marked (*s).
under cloches or lights takes place. Under each cloche
one Cos and four Cabbage Lettuces may be planted,
as shown in the diagram (fig. 41) , while Cos and Cabbage
Lettuces may be planted alternately in rows in the
frames. Early in February these Lettuces are fit to
gather. When the beds under the cloches and in the
SPRING LETTUCES 163
frames have been cleared, the surface is prepared for
a second crop.
About the end of February or early in March, if the
weather is at all favourable, six rows of " Paris Market
Cos " Lettuces (Grise maraichere) may be planted be-
tween the cloches under each of which a Lettuce is
already well established. It will be seen from the
diagram that each row of cloches is flanked by two
rows of Lettuces one in front and one behind and
that the exposed Lettuces are planted in the spaces
between the cloches. It thus happens that there are
nine rows of Lettuces on each bed six being open
and three under cloches (see fig. 48).
As soon as the Lettuces marked (i) under cloches
have been cut, the glasses thus rendered free are
placed over the Lettuces in rows numbered (2) in the
diagram leaving rows of Lettuces numbered (3), of
course, uncovered for the time being. When the No. i
Lettuces are mature, which is generally about three
weeks after covering, the cloches are then available
for covering the plants in rows marked (2), which ripen
about a fortnight afterwards. The cloches from rows
marked (2) are then placed upon the rows marked *3.
The shifting of the cloches from one row on to
another is done easily, and more expeditiously if the
first cloche at the beginning is taken away to the other
end of the bed. The vacant space thus left enables one
to move the cloches forward (in what may be called a
north-westerly direction, as shown in the diagram) so
as to cover the required rows marked (2) as shown.
The last Lettuces from these beds become mature
in April, or early in May, according to the mildness or
otherwise of the season.
164 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Borders. When planting between the cloches in
February or March in the way described above, it is
also advisable to plant out rows of " Paris Market Cos "
Lettuces (Grise mar dicker e) on warm sheltered borders,
allowing a foot of space between each plant. These
Lettuces are usually fit for market at the end of April or
during May. After plant-
ing on the borders, some
growers also sow seeds of
Carrots, Radishes, and
Leeks among the Cos Let-
tuces, and keep the whole
bed well watered when
Another variety of Cos
Lettuce called " Paris
White " (Blonde marai-
chere] is extensively culti-
vated in the French
market-gardens, and finds
a ready sale. It hearts
up quickly, stands a good time, and is of fine quality
Seeds of this variety are usually sown in the latter
half of October, the young plants being pricked out
under cloches in the way already described. When
large enough they are planted under cloches.
SUMMER AND AUTUMN LETTUCES. From the middle
of March until the end of July or middle of August
Lettuces are grown in the open air. In March a
sowing of " Giant Summer " Cabbage Lettuce (the
Grise or Grosse brune paresseuse) (fig. 44) and
" Paris White " Cos should be made, either under
SUMMER LETTUCES 165
cloches or frames. When large enough about twenty
young plants may be put under each light, or ten Cos
Lettuces and ten Cabbage Lettuces may be planted
alternately in the same space. When established, air
must be given freely during genial weather, and
attention must be paid to watering, so as to keep the
plants tender and growing.
Every second or third week from March until
August, seeds may be sown in the open air on nicely
prepared soil. The, seedlings are pricked out and
transplanted in due course. The chief cultural details
during the summer months consist of frequent hoeings
between the plants and a plentiful supply of water.
If the plants are allowed to suffer from drought they
are almost sure to " bolt " i.e. run to seed during the
summer months. They should therefore be copiously
watered every day except when it rains heavily.
It is as well, however, to mention that watering is
best done during the warm weather either in the
morning or in the evening, as the wetting of plants
exposed to the sun scorches the leaves and spoils
For summer and autumn Lettuces the secret of
success appears to be sow the seeds thinly ; keep the
young plants growing and tender by copious waterings ;
and plant out as early as possible after the first true
leaves form after the cotyledons or seed-leaves. Other
varieties as well as those mentioned may of course
be sown for summer and autumn crops.
Tying Cos Lettuces. Although many varieties of
Cos Lettuce hardly require tying at all, it generally
pays to perform the operation, whether the plants are
grown under cloches, frames, or in the open. It
166 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
makes them swell earlier, and gives a greater purity
and crispness to the hearts. The tying is done when
the plants have made three-fourths of their growth,
and the material used may be raffia or rye grass. If
steeped in water for about twenty minutes the tying
material becomes more pliable and is more easily
handled, even by experts.
Diseases and Pests. Lettuces under intensive culti-
vation are subject to attacks from numerous pests and
diseases. Amongst the most common insect pests are
aphides, or green fly, which attack the plants at the
" collar " the point where the leaves and roots join.
The Cock-chafer Grub (Melolontha vulgaris) preys upon
the roots. The soil should be searched as soon as the
leaves of a plant are seen to droop, and very often
the grub will be found at the base. Wireworms (Elater
lineatus] and other grubs also play havoc with the
plants in the open air, and can only be kept in check
by the use of traps made of pieces of potato or carrot,
which should be examined frequently.
Mildew (Peronospora gangliformis) the " meunier "
or miller of the French gardener is one of the worst
pests amongst early Lettuces, and where it is antici-
pated, the young plants, and also the surrounding soil,
should be sprinkled with flowers of sulphur. A weak
solution of sulphate of copper has also been found
useful as a preventive by watering the soil after sowing
the seeds, or before planting out the seedlings. The
same remedy applies to the rust fungus that also attacks
Lettuces. About i Ib. sulphate of copper to 100 pints
of water makes a good solution. Where young
Lettuces are attacked with mildew, the wisest course
to adopt is to lift the plants carefully and burn them,
afterwards mending the rows with healthy plants
from the seed-bed. If a little more sand or grit were
mixed with the mould on the surface, it is possible
that mildew would not be so prevalent amongst early
Lettuces as it is, when the old mould only is used.
Slugs are also very fond of young Lettuces, but may
be checked by sprinkling powdered lime and soot over
the plants and soil on several successive evenings or
The cultivation of early Melons (Cucumis Meld)
forms one of the greatest industries in Parisian market-
gardens. Every one in Paris, apparently, eats Melons,
and when the fruits are cheap in August about zd. or
%d. per Ib. one may see great barrow-loads of them
being hawked in the street, where they sell readily.
Early in the season, however, similar fruits realise
as much as 2os. to 255. in Paris, while even the " second
choice " fetch 6s. or 8s. each.
The varieties grown are quite distinct from the
netted varieties one is accustomed
to see in English hothouses. The
French people prefer what are
known as " Cantaloup " Melons,
and the varieties which find most
favour with the market-gardeners
of Paris are those known as " Can-
taloup Early Frame " or Prescott
hatif a chassis (fig. 50) and Prescott * IG '
EARLY FRAME MELON.
fond blanc. The latter is a strong-
growing variety, with large roundish compressed fruits,
often nearly a foot in diameter, with irregular ribs and
i68 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
furrows, and a mottled grey-green and yellowish
appearance when ripe. The flesh is reddish, and the
flavour is excellent. A Silver variety called " argentS "
(fig. 51) is also much grown. Another form, Prescott
fond gris, is often seen in the French markets.
The" Cantaloup" Melon was introduced from Armenia
to Italy about the fifteenth century, and was brought
into France in 1495 by Charles VIII.
Culture. To obtain the first-early crops of Melons,
FIG. 51. CANTALOUP SILVERY PRESCOTT.
seeds are sown in January. The plants from these,
however, require frames heated with hot-water pipes
as well as manure, as the chief trouble during the
winter months is to secure as much light as possible
for the plants.
The cultivation of early " Cantaloup " Melons may
well be recommended to those market nurserymen
in the British Islands who have already suitable glass-
houses well equipped with hot-water apparatus.
If seeds are sown about the middle of November, it
is possible to secure nice fruits (which would probably
command high prices) about the end of March, The
seeds for this purpose should be well ripened and
saved from fruits of the preceding year, to secure
the best results.
The main crop in frames is generally sown in
February and March. A hot-bed 2-J to 3 ft. thick is
made of quite fresh and old manure in equal propor-
tions. It is trodden down and made firm and level,
and if necessary well watered. Then, before placing
the frame upon it, the bed is covered with 6 to 8 in.
of fine and rich gritty mould that has been passed
through a sieve. The frame is placed in position, and
is banked up or " lined " all round with a good layer
of manure to keep the cold out and the heat constant
When the heat of the bed has sunk to 75 or 80 F.,
the seeds are sown about I in. apart in shallow drills.
They are lightly covered with soil, and gently watered.
For two or three days until the seeds begin to sprout
the frame is kept close and covered with mats. After
germination, the mats are taken off during the day-
time, but placed on again at night, and a little air is
given for an hour or two each day when the weather
Should the temperature within the frame fall below
68 or 70 F., the old manure outside the frame must
be removed, and fresh hot manure should take its
At the end of fourteen or eighteen days, when the
seed-leaves are well developed, another hot-bed to
accommodate a three-light frame should be made up in
the same way as the first. The young Melons are
then either pricked out of the seed-bed into the new
soil about 4 or 5 in. apart, making a hole with the
170 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
finger instead of a dibber, or, better still, each one
is placed in a 3-in. pot, using a compost of rich gritty
loam and a little leaf soil. When the young plants
are being put into pots, they should be handled
carefully so as not to injure the roots too much,
and the soil also should not be pressed too firmly
around them. Whether the plants are pricked out
or potted up, care should be taken in either case
to bury the young stems in the soil up to the seed-
After potting, the young plants should be " plunged "
in the compost up to the rim of the pots, before which
they should have been watered with a fine-rosed water-
pot to settle the soil.
Another method of treating the seedling Melons is
as follows : A 3-in. pot is taken and a wisp of straw
or litter is twisted round it firmly so as to acquire
the shape. Pot and straw are then placed where the
young Melons are to grow as many pots and wisps
of straw being used as are necessary, and placed
firmly side by side. When finished a gentle twist and
pull of the pot will free it from the straw, in which
a hole or pocket corresponding to the form of the pot
is left. Each hole is then filled with rich loamy
compost, in which the young Melon is planted. The
advantage of this method appears to be that when
the roots have absorbed the nourishment from the
soil surrounding them, they are then at liberty to
pierce their way through the litter in search of more,
whereas in pots they would be unable to travel in this
Whichever method is employed, it is essential to
keep the lights covered with mats for three or four
days until the young plants recover from the shifting.
Afterwards, the mats are taken off during the day, and
a little air is given in genial weather by tilting the
lights on one side or another, or at the top or bottom
according to the direction of the wind always
taking care to open only on the leeward side.
Pinching. When the plants have developed three
or four leaves (beyond the seed-leaves) the stem is
pinched off about an inch or a little more, beyond the
second leaf ; and the seed-leaves themselves are also
suppressed, so that when decaying they shall not injure
the main stem. Pinching should always be done
before the young Melons are planted out finally, as it
would be unwise to injure the tops and bottoms of
the plants at the same time. After the pinching
process, a little air should be given, just for two or three
hours in the middle of the day during mild or sunny
weather. If necessary, slight sprinklings with tepid
water may also be given, but one must guard against
too much moisture and too much air at this particular
Planting. When the two side branches that usually
result from the first pinching have two or three leaves
each, the plants are then ready for placing in their
When several rows of frames are being used for Melon
culture, the beds are made in the following way : In
the first row of frames, the soil is taken out about
2ft. wide and i ft. deep, and placed outside the beds
or moved to the end where the last trench is to be
made. The trench is then filled with two-thirds fresh
manure and one-third old manure, all well mixed and
trodden down. The first bed being thus made, the
172 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
soil from the trench in the second bed is spread over it
evenly. In the same way after the trench in the
second bed has been filled with manure, the soil from
the third bed is spread over it ; and so on till all the
beds are made.
When the heat has sunk to about 75 or 80 Fahr.,
two or three Melon plants are then placed under each
light in the centre of the frame. A hole is scooped out
of the compost with the hands and a young Melon
plant is carefully turned out of its pot or lifted from its
position with a nice ball of soil. Each plant is carefully
placed in the hole thus made, arranging one shoot to
point to the top of the frame and the other towards
the bottom. Injury to the roots must be avoided, and
the mould should be packed round them carefully
A little tepid water is then given to each plant, the
frames are closed up and shaded with mats for three
or four days until the plants have recovered. When
they show signs of new growth, the mats may be
taken off during the day unless the sun gets too hot.
They are, however, put on again at night-time for
Ventilation and Watering. About a week after
planting a little air may be given, very little at first,
but gradually increasing the amount as the weather
becomes warmer and the plants stronger. Attention
must be paid to watering, the supply being regulated
largely by the vigour of growth and the weather.
When the plants are growing freely and the weather
is warm, more water will be required than when reverse
conditions prevail. About the end of May, or during
June, if the weather is fine the lights may be taken
off the plants altogether during the daytime. They
should, however, be handy to cover up immediately
in case of a sudden storm or a dangerous faU in the
Stopping or Pinching. When the side shoots (that
were stopped some time before planting) are a foot
or more in length, it will be necessary to pinch out
the tops of each an inch or so beyond the third, fourth,
or even fifth leaf, according to the vigour of the shoots.
This stopping causes side shoots to develop from each
branch, but these shoots or "laterals" must^be also
checked in their turn.
At this stage it is a good plan to spread straw or
litter over the bed before new branches develop.
In due course side shoots will appear on the branches
that were last " stopped " by pinching. When about a
foot long this third set of shoots should also be pinched
back a little above the third leaf. At this stage any
flowers on the shoots should be suppressed, as they
are generally male (or staminate) blossoms and are
quite useless for the formation of Melons. If by
chance the shoots are bearing any female (or pistillate)
flowers easily recognised by the roundish swelling
behind the corolla these are also best destroyed, as
the plants are still too young and lack the necessary
force to develop fruits worth having from these first
After this stopping and pinching, as growth con-
tinues, a watch is kept for the appearance of female
flowers. When the young fruits are forming behind
these, a selection of those best situated should be made.
Those on the main stem or too near the centre of the
plant should be removed. Later on, when the fruits
174 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
are about as large as a hen's or even a pigeon's egg,
two of the very best are selected and all the others are
taken off the plant. When the fruits have grown
somewhat larger say about the size of a cricket ball
or a man's fist the shoots bearing them should be
shortened back an inch or so beyond the leaf in front
of the fruit, so that the sap may be drawn as far as
this without being wasted.
The best fruit on each plant is then decided upon
whether it be on the shoot pointing to the top of the
frame or on the shoot pointing to the bottom and the
other is suppressed. One fruit only is thus allowed
to ripen on each plant, as it is considered better to
have one large fine fruit than two smaller ones.
As each pinching and stopping of the shoots causes
a certain amount of injury, it is well to give the plants
a slight sprinkling and to keep them shaded from
bright sunshine for a day or two.
As the fruits increase in size and weight it is a good
plan to place a piece of glass, slate, or board beneath
each one so that the under-side shall not become dis-
coloured. Uniformity of colour may also be secured
by slightly turning the fruits from time to time, or by
standing them upright on their stalks.
Occasionally a fruit is inclined to become irregular
or deformed. This may be avoided or overcome by
making a vertical and transverse slit in the skin,
(thus : -f ) in the place where there is a hollow. The
effect of these slits is to draw the sap to the injured
portion, thus causing it to fill up the hollow that at
first seemed imminent.
During the development of the fruits, attention is
given to watering and ventilation. While the soil
must be kept moist and the plants kept growing
steadily, care must be taken not to give too much
water ; and the water itself should be tepid or of the
same temperature at least as the atmosphere in the
frame. Watering is always best done in the morning
say before ten o'clock before the sun becomes too
powerful to scorch the wetted foliage ; otherwise it
should be done late in the afternoon.
Under certain conditions, as, for instance, when
the plants are growing more vigorously than usual,
and are inclined to develop too many shoots and
leaves, water should be withheld almost entirely, or
given only very sparingly. This causes a check to
the growth of stems and leaves, and results in better
development of the fruits.
Late Crops. For a later crop of Melons, seeds should
be sown in April. It will not be necessary, however,
at that period of the year to go to the trouble of making
up such deep hot-beds as was necessary for the earlier
crops, as the weather is far more genial, and the
prevailing temperature is naturally higher. Having
marked out the place to be occupied by the frames,
a trench in the centre about 18 in. wide and i ft. deep
is taken out with the spade. The trench is then filled
with good fresh manure that has been previously well
turned over. When trodden down, it is covered with
a layer of nice mould about 6 in. deep taken from
the adjoining frames ; and so on with each bed in
Rotation. It should be borne in mind that it is not
good practice to grow Melons two years running on
the same ground. The principles of rotation should
be applied to intensive cultivation, as the benefits
176 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
arising therefrom are just as great as in the open
Gathering the Fruit. It is important to know exactly
when a Melon fruit is fit to cut from the plant. If left
too long, or cut before the proper time, a loss may
result to the grower. The best time to cut the fruit
is when the skin commences to change colour. Fruits
cut at this time should be placed in a cool, dark, airy
place where they will ripen gradually without losing in
quality or flavour. When the fruits assume a dis-
tinctly yellow tinge they should be eaten without
MELONS UNDER CLOCHES. The kinds best suited
for growing under cloches are known as " Chypre " or
" Kroumir," although the " Fresco tt " varieties may
be also grown.
Seeds are sown early in April on hot-beds prepared
as for the " Prescott " varieties (see p. 169), and in ten
or fifteen days the young plants are fit to be pricked
out on beds about i ft. in thickness. They may be
covered either with frames or cloches. By the first
or second week in May the young plants will be large
enough to transfer to their fruiting quarters. A
trench about 2 ft. wide and i ft. deep is prepared,
and filled with good manure. Over this 6 or 8 in. of
good rich loam and leaf soil is placed, and the Melons
are carefully planted about 2 ft. apart. Each one is
covered with a cloche, and air and light are excluded
for several days until the plants recover. Shading is
done either with mats or by white-washing the cloches
on the sunny side.
About a week or a fortnight after planting accord-
ing to the weather and the state of the plant a little
air may be given, gradually raising the cloche more
and more on the tilt as the plants increase in size and
About the end of May the cloche is no longer large
enough to hold the entire plant. The branches must,
therefore, be allowed to run outside as soon as weather
Some straw or litter may be spread over the beds
before this to keep them moist, and the cloches may
be raised off the soil by placing three small pots or
tilts beneath them. In this way the main stem will
be protected against cold or against heavy waterings
or drenching rains.
The tips of the shoots are pinched in the same way as
recommended for the " Prescott" varieties (see p. 173),
but eight or nine leaves may be left on the two branches
that develop after the first stem has been stopped.
The shoots arising from these two branches should be
shortened to four leaves ; and the branches arising
from these, again, may be shortened to three leaves.
As soon as fruits appear a selection should be made
of the best. Those that are allowed to ripen should
be protected by cloches, or each fruit at least should
be covered with a large leaf to protect it from the
sun. About the middle of July the cloches may be
removed altogether if the weather is fine, and early
in August the " Chypre " or " Kroumir " Melons
should be ripe.
Diseases. Melons are afflicted occasionally with
several diseases. The worst apparently in French
gardens is the " nuile " a disease which causes the
leaves, young stems, and fruits to rot. It is brought
about by a fungus known as Scolecotrichum mcloph-
178 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
thorum, and is due to cold, wet, and erratic seasons,
and is checked naturally by keeping the plants warm
and dry during such periods, and dusting with flowers
of sulphur. Canker sometimes attacks the plants
and is best cured by cutting away the injured portions,
and rubbing powdered lime or ashes on the wounds.
Black Aphis, Red Spider, and Thrips are best checked
by frequently syringing the under-surface of the
leaves with a quassia-chip and soft-soap solution,
or any of the advertised insecticides.
A treatise on French market-gardening would be
scarcely complete without some reference to the
French method of cultivating Mushrooms. The system
of culture adopted by growers in the outskirts of Paris
differs in so many ways from that practised in England,
that it may be worth while recording it somewhat
fully. Last summer (1908) I had the pleasure of
meeting a Parisian mushroom grower, and he very
kindly showed me not only his own " cultures," but
also introduced me to some friends of his in the neigh-
bourhood of Montrouge.
It has been estimated by M. Cure a writer on French
market-gardening that 10,000,000 francs (or 400,000)
are earned by the cultivation of Mushrooms and the
sale of old beds every year in the neighbourhood
of Paris alone. This is sufficient to indicate what
an important industry mushroom-growing is, and also
accounts for the establishment of the " Syndicat des
Champignonnistes," a society formed to protect the
interests of mushroom-growers in France. The British
mushroom-grower or " Champignonniste," as he
ought to call himself perhaps prefers to work out his
salvation on independent, instead of on co-operative
lines, and has, therefore, something yet to learn from
his French competitor.
In the neighbourhood of Paris Mushrooms are mostly
grown in underground quarries from which stone has
FIG. 52. MUSHROOM-BEDS IN CAVE : ROOF
SUPPORTED BY BLOCKS OF STONE.
been excavated in years gone by. These quarries, or
carrier es, are from 60 to 80 ft. below the surface, a
fact that ensures a fairly equable temperature from
60 to 70 Fahr. all the year round. Some of these
quarries are entered by a sloping roadway, but ad-
mission to many is only obtained by descending a
more or less shaky pole, with rungs thrust through it
to make a ladder. It is like descending an old and
i8o FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
deep well, and it is with some trepidation and curiosity
that the stranger makes his first descent in this way.
Arrived at the bottom one finds himself in a large
opening, from which what look like dark tunnels
radiate in every direction. Small lamps, fixed to a
stick about 18 in. long, are used to enable the workmen
to see what they are doing. Colza oil is now burned
in these little lamps in preference to paraffin, as it
was found that the fumes from the latter caused
headaches and other troubles that prevented the
workmen from attending to their duties for more than
two or three hours at a time.
The tunnels or galleries are just as they were left
by the quarrymen, except where the mushroom-
growers have collected irregular masses of stone and
piled them up as supports to the roof, or to fill some
great gap in the side walls. The general appearance
is well shown in the accompanying illustrations (figs.
52, 53), from The Parks and Gardens of Paris.
Fresh air being essential, not only for human
life but also for the sake of the Mushrooms is secured
by lighting fires beneath some of the openings that
communicate with the outer air. This causes an
upward current at one place and a downward current
at another, and in this way the air is constantly kept
in a fresh state as in a coal mine.
It is no easy matter traversing these mushroom
galleries, as many of them are only a few feet wide,
and often only 4 or 5 ft. high. The inky blackness
is only just dispelled by the glow from the lamp, while
one has to plant his feet carefully on the ground to
avoid slipping on the wet or greasy and irregular
The manure used for these mushroom beds is the
best that can be got from the Parisian stables. It is
brought to the mouth of the caves overhead, and
thrown down to the bottom. Here it is mixed and
turned, and brought into the proper state for making
up the beds. These run along the floors and at the
base of the walls of the tunnels, and vary in length
according to the space available. Sometimes several
beds run side by side, as shown in fig. 53, with only
a narrow alley between them wide enough to allow
FIG. 53. VIEW IN OLD UNDERGROUND STONE QUARRIES NOW DEVOTED
TO GROWING MUSHROOMS.
a man to walk by putting one foot in front of the
other. Each bed is generally about 18 in. wide at the
base, and about 18 in. high, tapering upwards so that
the top is only about 4 in. wide.
In such restricted places, it is obvious that carrying
or wheeling the manure from one place to another is
by no means easy work, and there is always plenty to
do. As soon as beds cease to produce a crop the
old manure is taken away and hauled up to the surface ;
and fresh manure is brought in for new beds.
182 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
The beds themselves are made up by placing the
prepared manure in heaps and layers, and then pressing
it firmly with the feet and knees until the required
degree of solidity is secured. All loose pieces of
manure or litter are then " combed " away from the
surface with the hands, to give a finished and tidy
When the temperature has sunk to 80 Fahr. the
beds are ready for " spawning." This work is generally
done by a more experienced workman. He breaks
the loose cake of spawn into pieces about 3 or 4 in.
square, and pushes each piece well into the manure-
bed about 6 in. from the other.
The beds thus " spawned " are then ready to be
" cased over " with a layer of soil. The Parisian
growers prefer for this purpose a mixture of rich
loamy soil and mortar rubble, or old plaster of Paris.
This is passed through a half-inch sieve, and is well
mixed up in advance. A layer of this compost, from
i-J- to 2j in. thick, is then spread over the beds with
a little flat wooden shovel, the back of which is used
to make the surface even and regular.
Two or three weeks after these various operations
have been performed satisfactorily, the young Mush-
rooms begin to appear on the surface of the soil. When
large enough 2 in. or a little more across the tops
they are picked and sent to market.
In these Parisian caves, owing, no doubt, to the
equable temperature and the proper degree of humidity
in the atmosphere, the beds will produce mushrooms
for eight or nine weeks, and often longer under very
favourable circumstances. The mushrooms are
picked every day, and not once or twice a week, as in
the case of larger beds made in the open air ; and as
the prices vary from 6d. to 2s. per lb., according to
circumstances and seasons, one may form some idea
as to whether the industry is remunerative or not.
At the same time the enormous expenses entailed in
the production must not be overlooked.
It sometimes happens that the beds become too
dry. They are then moistened with tepid water ; and
it is necessary to apply it by means of a fine-rosed
water-can, so that the soil shall not be broken down
from the manure it is encasing.
Diseases. The mushroom-growers of Paris have to
contend with a fungoid disease called the " molle "
that attacks the Mushrooms sometimes so badly
that the caves have to be abandoned for some time,
and thoroughly cleaned out. One of the chief causes
.of trouble, apparently, is the lack of fresh air. It is,
therefore, of the greatest importance that fires
should be kept going constantly so that the air in
remote ends of the tunnels may be kept as pure as
Tiny black flies, like Pear-midges or mites, often
find their way into the mushroom caves, and play
havoc with the crop occasionally. The best way to
get rid of them is to burn sulphur or brimstone in
the caves before starting a new crop.
Preparation of Mushroom Spawn. The spawn used
by the Parisian grower is quite different in appearance
from that used in England. Here the spawn is made
up in solid bricks or cakes, 8 or 9 in. long, 4 or 5 in.
wide, and about i-J- in. in thickness a fair quantity
of cow-manure being used in its preparation. In
Paris, on the other hand, cow-manure is never used
184 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
for making mushroom spawn. Only the best horse-
manure is used, and bricks or cakes of spawn are much
looser and lighter than the English ones.
Almost every grower in Paris prepares his own
spawn in the following way : In the month of July
some good manure is turned over a few times until
it becomes short and crisp, and well heated, just in
the same condition as for making up mushroom beds.
A trench about 2 ft. wide and 2 ft. deep is then dug
out in a shady place generally in some position facing
north. Some small pieces of spawn are then placed
about a foot apart in two rows along the bottom of
the trench thus made, from one end to the other.
After this the trench is filled up with the prepared
manure, and this is trodden down firmly with the feet.
The soil taken out of the trench is now spread over
the manure in the trench. A piece of board, however,
is placed near the centre of the trench, before the
soil is placed on top, and this may be lifted up when
it is desired to see what progress the spawn is making
in the manure beneath. Three or four weeks, as a
rule, are allowed for the spawn to spread throughout
the manure in the trench. The soil is then removed,
and the compressed manure, now saturated with the
mycelium or spawn of the mushrooms, is cut into
flat cakes. These are spread out in cool, dry, airy
sheds or barns, on shelves made of battens, where
they remain until required for use,
This seems such a simple and clean method of
preparing mushroom spawn that it is a wonder it is
not adopted in England. It is, of course, possible that
as most of our Mushrooms are grown in beds in the
open air, spawn in horse-manure would not last
nearly so long in our climate as that prepared with
the addition of cow-manure.
Another method of preparing mushroom-spawn has
been adopted by the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Briefly,
it consists in developing the spawn or mycelium direct
from the spores of the mushroom. The best speci-
mens are selected and placed on sheets of paper. As
the spores ripen on the " gills," or lamellae, of the
mushroom, they fall on the surface of the paper, and if
undisturbed, mark the outline of the mushroom cap.
Some manure, nicely prepared as described above,
and a few mushroom spores, are then placed in a test
tube, the mouth of which is hermetically sealed. The
tube is placed in a warm stove, the spores germinate
readily, and in about a fortnight the mycelium threads
(or spawn) have spread throughout the manure in
the test tube. " Spawn " obtained in this way has
been used for the production of Mushrooms, but it
is said that the results, so far, have not been quite
so satisfactory as were anticipated.
Although there are many varieties of Onion (Allium
Cepa) in cultivation, there is now only one specially
adapted for intensive cultivation as practised by the
Parisians market-gardeners, that is, the variety
known as " Blanc hdtif de Paris'' or " Early White
Paris." Formerly another variety, the " Jaune des
Vertus," was extensively cultivated, but has been
discarded as it is not sufficiently remunerative.
Seeds are sown in beds about the middle of August.
If sown earlier, or at least before August 15, in
186 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Paris, the plants are liable to run to seed instead of
developing bulbs. The soil should be deeply dug and
well prepared, and the seeds should be sown fairly
thickly, after the soil has been pressed down with the
feet, especially if inclined to be " light " or gritty.
A good watering should be given after the seeds have
been worked into the soil with the rake, and a light
covering of mould has been spread over the surface
of the seed-bed. This will hasten germination. As
dry weather often prevails at this period, the seed-bed
should be watered frequently if necessary, as the
sprouting seeds would be fatally injured by a spell
In September or early in October the young plants
will be ready for pricking out of the seed-bed into
beds of fine rich and gritty soil. The plants are
lifted by passing a spade horizontally beneath the
roots, so that these may not be injured. The best
seedlings are then selected one by one, and the inferior
ones are thrown away. A small bunch is made so
that the baby bulbs are all level. Then the roots are
cut back within half an inch or so of the bulbs, and the
leaves also are cut back leaving only 2 or 3 in.
the whole plant after shortening being only about
4 in. altogether from one extremity to the other.
Onions treated in this way are carefully placed in a
basket with the bulbs lying the same way. When as
many plants as are required for one day's planting
have been thus prepared, the basket containing them
is immersed in water, so that the injured plants may
be freshened up somewhat. The Parisian gardeners
carry out this practice with all the plants during hot
weather, even if it happens to rain. If by chance it
is not possible to plant all the Onions the same day
as they have been prepared, they are covered with a
board on which a fairly heavy weight is placed. This
is to keep the plants straight ; otherwise they would
be likely to curl or twist, and this would make it more
difficult to plant them, and also hinder them becoming
established quickly afterwards.
These blanc hdtif or " Early White Onions " are
at first planted very thickly by market-gardeners,
who allow little more than i or i in. between
them. Great care is taken not to plant too deeply,
about f in. deep being considered quite deep enough
for all kinds of Onions. If planted much deeper,
the plants do not develop so freely or so well. Some
growers plant the young Onions in rows, allowing
3 or 4 in. from plant to plant. In either case they
are not allowed to reach their full size, but are sold
as soon as the bulbs are an appreciable size. In this
w r ay the Onions are cleared as quickly as possible and
the soil becomes available for another crop.
During October seedling Onions may be pricked
out in the way described, but if the work is not finished
by the first week in November, it is advisable to leave
the plants in the seed-beds until the following February,
as the winter frosts would be almost sure to kill
In the event of severe weather setting in before the
plants have taken a good hold, it is advisable to protect
them at night with a sprinkling of straw or litter,
taking this off as early as possible in the morning.
About the end of April, or early in May, these autumn
sown Onions are fit for market, coming into use at the
same time as the " Ox-Heart " Cabbages (see p. 92).
i88 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
If a further supply of early Onions is required, or
if the rows have to be " made up " where plants of
the previous sowing have failed, seeds are sown again
to provide for these contingencies in January and
February. At this season the seeds are sown on hot-
beds under lights, or under cloches, and sometimes
between other crops. The plants will be ready some-
what later than those sown in August, but they will
make a good succession crop.
Many growers also sow seeds of the " Early White "
(blanc hdtif) Onion at intervals from February to
June in the open air. The beds are dug, manured,
and prepared in the usual way, and after the seeds
have been sown a layer of nice rich mould is spread
over the surface of each bed. When the Onions appear
they are " thinned out " in due course, if too thick.
Afterwards they are watered well from time to time
when necessary, according to the state of the weather.
As soon as the young bulbs begin to swell, they are
almost ready for pulling, as it does not pay to leave
them to mature on ground for which high rents have
to be paid. An excellent little Onion for spring sowing
is the blanc tres hdtif de la Reine (Early White Queen).
When sown in March it is ready in May, but as it is
little more than an inch when fully developed, it is
grown more in private than in market gardens.
There are now many varieties of small Radishes
(Raphanus sativus) suitable for cultivation either in
the open air or on hot-beds with other crops. They
vary in colour from the purest white to the deepest
crimson, passing through light and dark rose, and
almost scarlet. Growers for market, however, gener-
ally confine themselves to a few well-established
varieties. For early crops the Turnip or Round red
forms known to us as " Forcing Scarlet " Radishes-
are favoured (fig. 54). These are followed with the
" French Breakfast " and white-tipped kinds (fig. 55),
and after these it really matters little which variety is
The first sowing of Radishes is made about the
middle of September. Raised sloping beds are pre-
FIG. 54. FORCING SCARLET WHITE-TIPPED RADISH.
pared as described at p. 12, and the seeds are then
sown broadcast and covered with about an inch of
fine gritty soil. At night-time if frosts are likely to
occur, mats or litter are placed over the beds for
protection, and taken off each morning as early as
possible. Radishes from this sowing are generally
fit to pull about the end of November or early in
In December Radishes (round red varieties) are
sown under lights on nicely prepared soil, and often
among other crops such as Carrots, Cauliflowers,
Lettuces, and Leeks all of which require air to be
given in the same way as the Radishes.
igo FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
When sown with other crops, it is better to sow
Radishes in little patches between them rather than
broadcast. Each little patch will yield a dozen or
two of Radishes, which, as they develop rapidly, do
not harm either Carrots, Lettuces, or Cauliflowers.
Early in February, or at the end of January,
Radishes are sown again on open beds i.e. beds not
covered with lights. These beds are made up of
FIG. 55. OLIVE-SCARLET WHITE-TIPPED RADISH.
manure 12 to 15 in. deep, on the surface of which
about 4 in. of fine mould is spread. The seeds are
covered with about an inch of soil, and mats or litter
are afterwards spread over them to hasten germination.
After this, as much light as possible must be given,
but if frost is anticipated at night, the beds must be
protected with mats or litter. The Rose variety with
white tips, " French Breakfast," and the " Early Red
Scarlet " are the best varieties for sowing on beds.
At this period thick sowings of Radishes may also
be made on warm sheltered borders, and protected
from frosts with mats or litter when necessary. Sowings
in the open air may be made fortnightly until about
the middle of September or October according to
the season. It is not essential to sow them in beds
by themselves. The spaces between the rows of
Lettuces or Cauliflowers may be utilised when these
plants are still small and not too close together.
To secure nice Radishes, they should be sown in
rich moist soil, and during the hot summer days a
good watering in the morning and in the evening will
be highly beneficial. As Radishes mature in from
twenty-five to thirty days after sowing, one may judge
when they are to be sown on any vacant spaces.
In sowing Radishes there is one important point to
bear in mind if nice roots are desired, and that is that
the seeds should be sown somewhat deeper than most
other small seeds. In other words, they should be
covered more thickly with fine mould say about an
inch thick to encourage them to develop regularly
and symmetrically. Being embedded in the soil in
this way the skin retains its colour, and the Radishes
do not become hard, hot and woody, as they are likely
to do when the seeds are only slightly covered with soil.
It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to mention that
all early sowings of Radishes in the open air require
protection from the depredation of birds, by means
of fish-netting, black cotton or other devices.
BLACK RADISHES. In the Paris markets a black-
skinned Radish is frequently seen. The roots are
something like the pointed " Croissy " Turnip in
shape, and look as if they had been rolled in dry soot.
They are about 6 in. long, tapering to a fine tip.
The two varieties of Black Radish best known are
" Round Winter " and the " Long Winter."
192 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
SALSAFY AND SCORZONERA
Salsafy (Tragopogon porri folium] and Scorzonera
(Scorzonera hispanica) two members of the Chicory
and Dandelion family now find their way into the
English markets in small quantities, and are valued
chiefly for their long thickish roots. These are white
in Salsafy and blackish in Scorzonera. The former
is a biennial, and in growth has long narrow grey-
green leaves with a whitish midrib, and produces
violet flowers. Scorzonera, on the other hand, is a
perennial, has broad lance-shaped oblong leaves, and
bright yellow flowers.
Both plants are cultivated in almost precisely the
same way, and if the soil has been deeply dug and
well manured in advance, nice shapely roots are
produced. In March or ApriJ the seeds are sown in
shallow drills about a foot apart. When the seedlings
are about 2 in. high, they should be thinned out
about 4 in. apart. During the season growth is
encouraged by frequent hoeings and copious supplies
of water, especially in hot, dry weather. This will
prevent the Salsafy plants running to seed, and
thus failing to produce roots.
About October the roots are lifted, and if stored
in sand or dry soil will remain fit for use during the
winter months. As Scorzonera is a hardier plant than
Salsafy, its roots may be left in the soil, giving pro-
tection if necessary from severe frosts with litter, etc.
For market purposes the roots of both Salsafy and
Scorzonera are tied up into neat bundles. They are
used in a boiled state, and those of Salsafy are popu-
larly known as " Vegetable Oyster."
It is astonishing the amount of Sorrel (Rumex
Acetosa) that is grown and consumed in Paris. In the
markets large bundles of bright green leaves are always
seen, and women are often engaged in picking them
off and grading them according to size and freshness.
For over five centuries Sorrel has .been a favourite dish
with the French, and yet it is scarcely known in British
There are several varieties, but those with large
juicy leaves are the best. Those known as " large de
Belleville" (or " Broad-leaved Belleville "), "Lyons,"
and " blonde de Sarcelles " are grown, as well as
A variety, however, called " Maiden " or Dutch
Sorrel (Oseille vierge} has become noteworthy. It is
supposed to be a form of Rumex montanus instead of
R. Acetosa, and has large round leaves. As it rarely
flowers or seeds, the popular name " Maiden " (vierge)
has been given to it. It grows in strong tufts and
continues to produce luscious leaves for many years.
It is generally propagated by dividing the tufts, while
the other kinds of Sorrel are raised from seeds when
Early Sorrel can only be secured by forcing estab-
lished clumps in hot-beds. These are prepared early
in November, with a temperature of 55 to 60 Fahr.
After placing the frames in position a couple of inches
of mould is spread over the surface. The Sorrel plants
are then lifted from the open ground with a fork, and
after the crowns have been cleaned from old leaves
194 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
and stems, they are placed side by side in the frames,
putting the larger or taller clumps near the top, and
the smaller or shorter at the bottom. Some fine
rich gritty mould is then worked in between and
slightly over the crowns, and is settled down with a
gentle watering. After growth commences all that
is necessary is to give occasional moistenings with
tepid water, and ventilation according to the state of
When the leaves are large enough they should be
picked by hand every third or fourth day the largest
always being picked first. About eight days after
placing in the hot-bed, the plants commence to yield,
and will continue to produce tender leaves for a month
or six weeks, according to their vigour. When the
plants cease to develop leaves they may be thrown
away ; others are then lifted and placed in their
Another method of obtaining early Sorrel is to force
the plants where they are growing instead of lifting
them and placing in hot-beds. The Sorrel is planted
in beds wide enough to take the lights and frames
generally in use. The plantation should have been
made originally in deeply dug or trenched and heavily
manured soil. As a rule each Sorrel bed has five
rows of plants the two outer ones being about 6 in.
from the margins and the others equidistant from
In the first half of November the plants are cleared
of old leaves and stems, and the frames are placed
over them. About half an inch of rich gritty soil is
then spread uniformly over the crowns, and well
watered in before the lights are put on.
The pathways between the beds are afterwards dug
out 8 to 10 in. deep, the soil being placed at the end
of the rows until it is again required. The trenches
thus made in the pathways are filled with three parts
of fresh manure to one part of old manure or leaves.
The heat generated from the manure in the pathways
causes the Sorrel plants to grow, and forcing has
commenced. Watering with tepid water occasionally,
and giving more or less air according to the state of
the weather, constitute the principal points to which
attention must be given.
About fifteen or eighteen days after the manure has
been placed between the frames, leaves will be ready
to pick and will continue to appear for about two
months. Sorrel beds forced in this way will give a
fair yield the second year, but afterwards the plants
.do not possess sufficient vitality to give a reasonable
When the crop is finished, the manure is removed
from the trenches, and these are refilled with the
soil taken from them at first, after which the frames
and lights are used for other purposes, and the Sorrel
bed is again open to the air.
Seakale (Crambe maritima) the " Chou mar in " of
the French growers although now so extensively
cultivated by market-gardeners in England for the
blanched leaf-stalks, is curiously enough not yet a
great article of commerce in France, owing probably
to the difficulty in securing sufficiently large tracts of
land, that are so necessary to raise a quantity of
196 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
plants for forcing purposes. The English method of
cultivation may be briefly described as follows :
An open sunny situation is essential, and the
soil for Seakale should be trenched 2 to 3 ft. deep
in autumn and be heavily manured. Planting is
usually done early in March. Pieces of the thick roots
4 in. to 6 in. long, called ' thongs ' by gardeners, are
cut from the old root-stalks in March, and are planted
12 in. apart in rows ij to 2 ft. apart. This operation
may be performed annually ; but if plants are to
remain for a few years in the same place, it will be
necessary to give more space so as to permit the free
use of the hoe or fork between the rows, and also to
afford more air and light. Instead of raising plants
from cuttings of the roots in this way, seeds may also
be sown in drills i4- to 2 ft. apart, afterwards thinning
the seedlings out so as to leave about a foot between
each plant, In autumn, when the large grey-green
wavy leaves have decayed, it may be advisable to cover
the crowns with a little heap of ashes or sand, or litter.
Blanching. This operation consists in excluding
the light from the young shoots when they commence
to grow in spring.
A box, large pot, hand-light, or even a heap of
leaves placed over each crown will serve the purpose
in the open air, but ashes or sand over the crowns
should be removed first. When the shoots are long
enough, a little light may be given just to give a tinge
of colour to the tips. Where one has a warm green-
house or moist hot-bed, the roots may be lifted from
December to February, and placed in the warmth
and in the dark. In this way blanched shoots can
be secured very early in the season.
Market-gardeners in England commence forcing Sea-
kale from the end of October till the end of February.
The best and earliest crowns are first selected and
planted side by side in beds 4 to 5 ft. across, and
heated underneath by hot -water pipes. The roots are
embedded in the soil to the tops, and after planting
receive a good drenching with water to settle the
soil round them. They are afterwards covered with
clean strawy litter to a depth of 12 or 18 in., and
in severe weather mats are placed overhead on cross-
bars. From fourteen to twenty-one days according
to the time of year are required to produce the
leaf-stalks. The litter is then taken off, and all the
crowns that are ready are taken from the bed, and
prepared for market. As soon as one set of crowns
is finished, others are ready to take their place, and
thus a constant supply is kept up till the plants forced
in the open air begin to yield.
French growers plant the Seakale roots in beds
the same width as the frames generally in use for
forcing Carrots, Radishes, Lettuces, etc. The beds
are thus 4 ft. 5 in. wide, and have an alley or path-
way between them. Five furrows about 4 in. deep
are drawn, and the plants are placed in them at the
end of March or early in April, the two outer rows
being about 7 or 8 in. from the margin. This allows
about twenty-five " crowns " to each light. After
planting, the crowns are freely watered when necessary,
and the soil which had been drawn up in little
rdges when making the furrows or drills is gradually
washed down, and eventually covers the crowns.
Towards the end of June or early in July the
waterings cease, as the plants will be then established
ig8 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
and well furnished with their large wavy grey-green
About the end of October or early in November,
the dead and dying leaves are removed, and the beds
are cleaned up and hoed lightly, preparatory to having
the frames placed over them. The pathways are also
dug out 10 or 12 in. deep, some of the soil being placed
in the frames for " earthing up " the Seakale crowns,
the remainder being placed close at hand for filling
the trenches after the forcing is finished.
When the temperature in the frames falls to 60
Fahr., the trenches between the frames are filled with
good manure. Each crown is covered with a heap of
soil about 6 to 7 in. deep, and the entire portion to be
forced is covered with dry leaves or straw to hasten
vegetation. About a month afterwards the first
shoots may be cut, taking care to sever each one about
half an inch above the " collar " of the plant. A
second crop may be secured from the same plants by
covering the crowns again, and treating in the same
way. After the second forcing the crowns are of
little use, and should be destroyed. The frames and
old manure are then removed, and the pathways are
filled up again with soil.
Another method of forcing Seakale is to lift the
plants in October or November, and place them side
by side on a manure bed giving a heat of 60 to 65
Fahr., which has been covered with about 6 in.
of mould before the frames are placed on it. About
sixty-four crowns are thus forced under each light,
and the frames are " lined " with manure in the
way described above, to secure a steady temperature.
The plants are given a gentle watering after some
nice rich sandy mould has been worked in between
them, and also over them to a depth of 2 or 3 in.
A covering with straw, leaves, or litter completes
the work, and shoots may be cut at the end of
eighteen or twenty days.
Seakale may also be forced in warm cellars at the
same period. The crowns are lifted, cleaned, and
planted on a few inches of rich mould, and are after-
wards covered 2 or 3 in. deep with the same
compost. More or less water is necessary, according
to the dryness or humidity of the atmosphere, and
at the end of three or four weeks shoots will be
ready for cutting.
The Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an annual plant,
native of Persia, whence it was introduced to Spain
in the middle of the sixteenth century by the Arabs.
According as to whether the seeds (really the " fruits ")
are "prickly" or "smooth," two distinct kinds of
Spinach are recognised, each with several varieties
all highly valued for their soft bright green leaves.
At one time French gardeners used to grow Spinach
on hot-beds, on which young plants were pricked out
about 4 in. apart in November, so as to be ready for
gathering from December to March. This system of
forced cultivation is, however, no longer adopted or
rarely practised. I have, however, seen young plants
lifted from the open ground in February or early in
March. All the leaves were cut off, and the plants
thus mutilated were placed in frames between Gotte
Lettuces that were nearing maturity on the top of
200 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Early Carrots. Spinach grown in this way branches
out a good deal, and produces fine foliage in about
three weeks after planting. The entire plant is
pulled up when ready, and is fit for sale when the
roots have been cut off. It realises a much higher
price than open-air Spinach at the same period.
About the middle of August seeds of the variety
known as " Monstrous Viroflay " may be sown on
nicely prepared, but not deeply dug, soil, either in
drills, 9 to 12 in. apart and about 2 in. deep, or
" broad-cast " at the rate of about i Ib. of seed to
160 square yards or a little over 5 poles or " rods "
of ground. After sowing, the soil should be trodden
down firmly and raked over. To hasten germination,
a good watering may be given, especially if the soil
is inclined to be dry, or the seeds may have been
soaked in water three or four times before sowing.
Under favourable conditions Spinach leaves may be
picked from this first sowing about the end of Sep-
tember, taking care that only the largest leaves at the
bottom are picked first, and by hand.
Another sowing of Spinach may be made in October
for gathering in spring, using the varieties known as
" Flanders "or " Prickly Long Standing " on this
Some growers sow Spinach in December amongst
Carrots in frames, picking the leaves with care when
About the middle of February Spinach may be
sown at intervals of two or three weeks, until the
end of July. The early sowings should be made on
warm sunny borders, while the later ones in summer
are best on north borders, or between rows of other
vegetables which will shade them from strong sun-
If the plants show signs of running to seed during
the summer months, they are best destroyed, and
replaced with other crops.
The chief care with Spinach is to give the plants
plenty of water, either morning or evening, during
Turnips (Brassica napus) are now grown as a forced
or " primeur " crop on hot-beds more than formerly.
Early in January a bed is made up to give a tem-
perature about 70 to 80 Fahr. The surface is then
covered with a layer, about 7 or 8 in. thick, of rich
mould, made up of two parts of old manure and one
part of rich loamy soil passed through a sieve.
The seeds are usually sown neither broad-cast nor
in drills, but in small holes made in the compost with
the finger. About every 6 in. a hole i in. deep
is made with the finger, and into each one or two Turnip
seeds are dropped making about eighty to one
hundred to every light.
The surface is then levelled with a piece of wood
and lightly watered, after which mats are spread
over the lights until germination has taken place
generally in four or five days.
As soon as the first leaves after the seed-leaves have
developed, the young Turnips must be thinned out,
so that only one plant is left in each little hole. About
a month or six weeks after sowing, that is, about the
middle of February, the lights are taken away to
place over a second sowing of Turnips. The first
crop must then be protected during the night with
mats thrown over the frames. If, however, the
weather at this period is very severe, it is safer to leave
the lights some time longer until all danger is over.
To ensure active growth in the frames, the young
Turnips should be watered frequently almost every
day and at the same time abundance of air must
be given on all favourable occa-
sions by tilting up the lights on
the leeward side.
In about seven or eight weeks
after sowing the seeds, and treat-
ing as above described, the young
Turnips are fit to pull.
About the middle of February
another sowing of Turnips may
be made on a somewhat cooler
bed than the first crop, and in
the same way. If the weather is
favourable, the lights from the
first crop may now be taken off,
and placed over the second just sown. These lights
in turn are taken off the second crop in due course
and placed over the third sowing of Turnips.
A fourth sowing of Turnips may be made about the
middle of April on the bed from which the second
crop has been gathered, the same set of lights being
used for protection successively. It will be noted
that only two different beds are used for the four crops.
When these are cleared, the beds may be utilised
for the culture of Melons.
Making holes with the finger is rather a primitive
FIG. 56. " MARTEAU "
OR HALF-LONG WHITE
method, and has been discarded by some growers.
These have a frame made exactly the size of each
light. As many cross-pieces as there are to be rows
of Turnips are fixed to these frames, and in each
cross-piece as many pegs are fixed as there are to be
Turnips in a row. All that is necessary is to press
the frame with the pegs downwards upon the pre-
FIG. 57. HALF-LONG WHITE FORCING TURNIP.
pared soil, and each peg makes a hole in which the
Turnip seeds are then sown.
The variety of Turnip favoured by the Parisian
grower is called " Marteau " or " Half -long Vertu "
(fig. 56), owing to its quick growth and excellent
quality. It is the variety par excellence for the first
early crops, and Parisian gardeners have made
thousands of pounds by its cultivation. The " Half-
long White Forcing " Turnip (fig. 57) is also an early
variety well suited for frame culture. " Red Flat
204 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Milan " and " White Flat Milan " are suitable either
for early crops under lights or for later crops in the
One of the most popular Turnips for market is the
" Long Vertu " or " Pointed Croissy," of which
large quantities are sold in the Paris markets during
the summer months. Indeed, it was the only variety
I saw in the market in August.
CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS FOR
UNDER ordinary circumstances it would be more
convenient to commence a calendar of operations in
January. With intensive methods of cultivation,
however, it is somewhat different. The month of
August is generally recognised as the beginning of
the cultural year for the intensive cultivator, hence
it is, therefore, more convenient to begin the calendar
in this volume at that period.
Under each month in the year from August in one
year to July in the following the principal operations,
as detailed in the preceding pages, have been noted
briefly, merely as reminders to the grower what ought
to be done in each month. It is important that seeds
should be sown, pricked out, or transplanted at the
proper time, otherwise the crops may mature too
late to be of any particular value, especially to the
commercial grower. Although Paris is somewhat
farther south than London by about 3 degrees, there
is really very little difference in the climatic con-
ditions. As temperature, however, is an all-important
point in gardening, and especially when conducted
206 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
on intensive principles, it has occurred to me that it
might be useful to the grower to have some idea of
the average temperature of the air and the soil for
each month of the year. I have, accordingly, ex-
tracted this information from Lindley's Theory and
Practice of Horticulture, the figures given being those
taken for ten consecutive years in the Royal Horti-
cultural Society's late Gardens at Chiswick some years
ago. The mean air temperatures at Paris have
also been included for the purpose of comparison.
It will, of course, be remembered that places farther
north or south than London will have different mean
temperatures, and it would be well for growers to find
them out and place them in a conspicuous place in
their gardens for future reference. So far as the
rainfall is concerned, there is very little difference
between that of Paris and London the average
rainfall in the former being about 23 in., and 25 in. in
the latter. Here again, of course, great variation is
to be found, as more rain generally falls on the western
side of Great Britain than on the eastern.
By the kindness and courtesy of the authorities
at the Observatory Department of the National
Physical Laboratory at Kew, I am enabled to give
below the meteorological averages of Rainfall, Sun-
shine, and Temperature which have been extracted
from the records by permission of the Meteorological
Council. These figures may serve for comparison
with observations made in other parts of the kingdom.
From these figures it will be seen that the popular
expression " February fill dyke " is by no means
accurate, as February and March are generally the
driest months in the year. At Ealing the average
CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS
rainfall for forty years has been 25-39 in., although
in 1908 there was as much as 27*34 in. And during
the past three years, 1906, 1907, 1908, there have
been 248, 240, and 242 dry days respectively.
METEOROLOGICAL AVERAGES AT THE KEW
Average in inches
for 35 years,
Average in hours
for 25 years,
Average for 35
4 J '3
Mean temperature of Soil at i ft. deep, 6i.8o. Air, 6i.28
Cabbages. Seeds of "Ox Heart " may be sown
on old hot-beds or on borders for succession.
Carrots. A small sowing of " Early Paris Forcing "
may be made on old beds, or on warm borders for
Cauliflowers. Sow seeds of " Lenormand " and
" Early Erfurt," afterwards pricking seedlings out
208 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
under lights. Cauliflowers nearing maturity should
be kept growing freely by copious waterings and
frequent use of the hoe. Keep a watch on cater-
Corn Salad. Sow early in the month ; afterwards
at intervals of three or four weeks till the end of
October for succession crops if necessary.
Endives. Those planted out at end of June should
now be ready for tying up. They require plenty of
water during hot weather. The " Green Batavian "
Endive should now be planted out.
Lettuces. Cos and Cabbage varieties sown in July
should be ready for planting under cloches about the
end of the month one Cos lettuce and three Cabbage
Lettuces under each cloche.
The " Passion " and " Black Gotte " varieties of
Cabbage Lettuces should now be sown for early
supplies. The seedlings should be pricked out under
lights or cloches when ready.
Spinach. Winter Spinach should be sown in the
open borders early in the month.
Turnips. Seed should be sown to yield nice roots
in October and November.
Hot-beds. Manure for these should be prepared
and turned over, and old Melon beds should be cleaned
Mean temperature of Soil at i ft. deep, 57. 54. Air, 56. 14
Cauliflowers. Sow seeds of " Dwarf Early Erfurt "
about the middle of the month, and prick out seedlings
in other beds in October when large enough. The
CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS 209
plants from these must be wintered in frames, and
will be ready for planting amongst Carrots in March
Leeks sown in May, and transplanted in July,
will be ready during this month.
Lettuces. The Cos or Romaine varieties are sown
under cloches and will be ready for pricking out in early
Cabbages. Another sowing may be made of " Ox
Corn Salad, Turnips, Carrots, and Radishes may also
be sown the last named on warm sheltered borders.
Onions sown in August will be ready for pricking
out preparatory to the final planting in October.
Endives. Seeds of " Ruifec " and " Green Batavian "
may be sown to be pricked out under cloches in
Mean temperature of the Soil at I ft. deep, 5i.52. Air, 49-35
Lettuces. The small kinds, if sown early in the
month, will be ready for cutting about February.
" Passion " Lettuces sown this month may be pricked
out and grown on under cloches or in frames till
January, and then planted out.
Lettuces sown in August will be ready for planting
early this month, if not at end of September, on raised
sloping beds under cloches.
About the middle of the month, Lettuces (Cos and
Cabbage varieties) may be sown for early forced crops.
The kinds for this sowing should be " Black Gotte,"
" Passion," and " Blonde Paresseuse."
Cabbages, " Ox Heart." Seedlings will now be ready
early in October for pricking out, so as to be ready
for planting on warm sheltered borders by the middle
Endives planted out in open-air beds in July will
be ready this month. Plants from the September
sowing should be pricked out under cloches.
Corn Salad may be sown in the open air.
Asparagus. Crowns two or three years old should
be taken up before the frost, and placed on hot-beds
for forcing (see p. 76).
Radishes may be sown on warm sheltered borders
early in the month. In the event of frost it would
be well to cover with lights or protect with straw or
Mean temperature of the Soil at i //. deep 46. 01. Air, 42. 89
Lettuces, " Small Black Gotte." The young plants
from seeds sown in August will be ready for planting
on hot-beds by the middle of this month. Others
will be ready for pricking out under cloches.
Cabbages. About the middle of the month young
plants of " Ox Heart " sown in August will be ready
for planting out 18 in. apart on warm borders, having
been already pricked out of seed-beds early in October.
Cauliflowers grown under cloches or lights should
be protected with mats at night in case of frost.
Celery should be protected against frost with litter
Carrots " Grelot " or " Early Forcing Horn " may
CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS 211
be sown about the end of the month on hot-beds, and
amongst them thirty or thirty-six Cabbage Lettuces
(" Black Gotte ") may be planted under each light.
Radishes are often sown in these lights after planting
the Lettuces. They grow quickly and are gathered
before they interfere with either the Lettuces or the
Spinach should be sown about the middle of the
month under lights. The " Flanders " variety will
resist the cold well.
Ventilation. The cloches and lights under which
" Passion " Lettuces are grown must be ventilated
as freely as possible to prevent the leaves decaying.
-Mean temperature of Soil at i ft. deep, 4i.i3. Air, 38.I4
Lettuces. At end of month the beds which have
carried " Black Gotte " Lettuces are turned over, and
some fresh manure is added previous to making up
for another crop.
The ground for " Passion " Lettuces in the open
should be deeply dug, and after levelling and raking
may be covered with a layer of old manure. The
Lettuces should be planted about the end of January.
Cabbages. Seedlings that have not been pricked
out will be left in beds until February, but should be
protected against hard frosts with a little straw, litter,
or bracken when necessary.
Carrots may be sown on all hot-beds in which Cos
Lettuces or Cabbage Lettuces are to be planted.
Cloches. At this season one Cos Lettuce (grise
212 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
maratchere) and three Cabbage Lettuces (" Black
Gotte ") may be grown under each glass on the
Radishes may also be thinly sown just after planting
Manure. The old manure which is to be used for
covering the beds next season should be got into
ridges about 3 ft. high and 10 ft. apart, and fresh
manure may be wheeled in between them for the
formation of the beds.
Mean temperature of the Soil at i //. deep, 40. 07. Air, 38. 21
Asparagus. Seeds may be sown on hot-beds about
the middle of the month. Crowns two or three years
old may be forced in the way described at p. 76.
Cabbages. Any young plants that have been
frosted should be covered with straw or litter to
prevent quick thawing, which often does great harm
to the plants.
Carrots. Sow " Early Forcing Horn " with Radishes
on beds that are to be planted with Lettuces.
Cauliflowers. Seeds of " Lenormand " or " Second
Early Paris " may be sown to produce plants for
putting between the Cos Lettuces later on.
Cucumbers. Sow seeds about the end of the month.
Lettuces. The white-leaved " Passion " raised from
seeds sown in October should be ready for planting
in the open air in mild weather about the end of the
month, or sooner, to be ready in April or May. Before
planting, seeds of " French Breakfast Radishes " may
CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS 213
be sown on the same soil. " Black Gottes " may be
planted on the top of beds in which Radishes and
Carrots are sown.
Any Lettuces attacked with mildew should be
removed and burned. Clean healthy plants should fill
the vacant places and have a little flowers of sulphur
strewed round them.
Melons. Seeds of the " Cantaloup " varieties should
be sown about the end of the month, to have fruits
in May and June.
Radishes. Seeds of " French Breakfast " kinds and
" Early Forcing Horn " Carrots may be sown in beds
on which " Gotte " Lettuces are to be planted.
Spinach. An early supply may be obtained by sow-
ing on hot-beds during the month.
Tomatoes. Seeds may be sown to produce plants
for putting under cloches in May.
Protection. Frames and cloches must be protected
from frost with mats at night, and fresh manure must
be added if necessary to keep up the temperature.
Mean temperature of the Soil at I //. deep, 39-74- Air t 38.42
Lettuces. Look over the plants in frames and
remove old or decaying leaves regularly. Others may
be planted under cloches one Cos Lettuce in the
centre of three Cabbage Lettuces. The bed holds
nine rows (see p. 162).
Melons. Seeds of " Cantaloup Prescott fond blanc "
may be sown again. When large enough transfer each
seedling to a 3-in. pot in nice rich loam.
214 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Endives. Sow the " Rouen " variety about the
middle of the month on a hot-bed, afterwards pricking
out the little plants in another bed, and eventually
transferring to cold frames or cloches when ready
early in April. " Paris Green Curled " (or La Parisi-
enne) is another good variety for sowing at this season.
Cauliflowers. About middle of month make a
sowing on hot-bed to have young plants to put under
cloches in March.
Cabbages. Seeds may be sown on hot-beds in the
latter half of the month to produce plants in suc-
cession to those sown in August or September.
Plants from the autumn sowing should be planted out
after the middle of the month.
Turnips. Sow early in the month on old Lettuce
beds that have been re-made. The half-long or
" Marteau " variety is recommended at this season
by French growers, but " Early Snowball " or other
English varieties would probably yield excellent
Radishes. Sow again on beds carrying Lettuces or
Carrots. Sow also in the open air in warm sheltered
Spinach. Sow at intervals of two or three weeks
from the middle of the month in the open air.
Celery and Celeriac. Sow seeds at end of month
or early in March.
Mats. In January, February, and March, when
the mats are taken off the lights or cloches in the
morning, they should be stood on edge and spread
out against walls and fences to drain and dry if they
have been soaked with rain during the night.
CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS 215
Mean temperature of Soil at i ft. deep, 40. 96. Air, 4O.49
Lettuces. Cos varieties may be planted in the hot-
beds. In beds sown with Radishes, Lettuces, and
Carrots in January, the Radishes will have been all
gathered by this time, leaving only the Lettuces and
Carrots. " Passion " Lettuces in frames must be
well ventilated both day and night.
Melons. Young plants will be ready for planting in
frames at end of this month, and should have the
main shoot stopped beyond the second leaf as early
Cauliflowers. Sow seeds of "Lenormand" for
growing in old hot-beds in the open during the
summer months. Cauliflowers from seeds raised about
the middle of last September, and pricked out in
October, should now be planted on the hot-beds
containing Carrots. They may also be planted in
beds with Cabbage Lettuces and Spinach or Radishes.
Protection. Mats must be placed over cloches and
frames at night when frost is anticipated. They
should not be removed in morning until after the
thaw has set in.
Cucumbers. Seeds of long green varieties may be
sown between the middle of March and middle of
April, to be ready for final planting about the end of
Carrots. The last sowing of " Half-long " varieties
on hot-beds is made early this month, also under
cloches, and in the open borders. Radishes may be
sown at same time amongst those on hot-beds.
216 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Leeks. Sow in open air (see p. 141).
Spinach. Sowings may be made between other
crops such as Lettuces (Cos and Cabbage), Endives,
Cabbages, etc., or in separate beds.
Sorrel may be sown during the spring and summer
to keep up a supply of leaves.
Cabbages. Sow for summer and autumn crops in
the open air, and hoe between the Ox-Heart varieties
in the open air.
Onions. Early in the month seedlings that were
not disturbed in the beds should be planted out.
Turnips. The lights should be taken off these on
all fine days and even at night if no frosts are feared.
Mats should be handy for covering in case of sudden
Dandelions. Seeds may be sown now and at
intervals until June to produce plants for autumn and
Mean temperature of the Soil at i ft, deep, 46. 47. Air, 46. 57
Cauliflowers. After the first batch of Lettuces under
cloches have been cleared, and the glasses have been
moved over the other rows (as explained at p. 163),
Cauliflowers may be planted in the places left vacant
by the Cos Lettuces.
Cauliflowers from seeds sown in September may be
planted in the open air about 2 to 2\ ft. apart
(see p. 113).
Cabbages. By the end of this month the " Ox
CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS 217
Heart " varieties sown last August will now be ready
for cutting. Those sown in February will be ready
for planting out about the middle of the month.
Lettuces. The " Passion " variety, planted in
January, will now be nearing maturity, and the space
between each plant may be filled with a Cauliflower.
The frames and lights may be taken away altogether
from these crops, if necessary, about the end of the
month, and used for a second crop of Melons.
Melons. Those already in frames require careful
ventilation each day when the weather is fine. Seeds
should be sown each week to have plants ready later
on for the beds as they become vacant.
Celery. Make a sowing early in April, and prick
out 3 in. apart in May on an old hot-bed. These are
to follow Cauliflowers. Young Celery plants may now
be placed in frames, from which Turnips, Radishes,
and Carrots have been gathered.
Lettuces. The Cos varieties grown on hot-beds will
require attention. As the earlier plants are nearing
maturity, the cloches covering them should be removed
to cover the plants next in order of ripening, as ex-
plained at p. 163.
Carrots. During this month attention must be given
to weeding and thinning out, as the plants grow quickly.
If necessary, the frames may be raised 2 or 3 in. by
placing bricks or blocks of wood at corners, but manure
should be previously banked up round frames to
prevent soil from falling down afterwards.
Celeriac. The young plants from seeds sown at end
of February or early in March will be ready for pricking
out on south borders or on an old hot-bed.
218 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
Mean temperature of Soil at I ft. deep, 53. n. Air, 53. 54
Lettuces. The last of the plants placed under cloches
in February will be ready this month. The first crop
will be ready for pulling.
" Passion " Lettuces grown in cold frames or on
warm borders will be ready for cutting.
Endives. If the weather is mild and moist, Endives
may be planted in the open ; and another sowing of
" Rouen " may be made on a hot-bed.
Cauliflowers. These may be planted on the edges
of old beds that have borne a crop of Cos Lettuces.
Cauliflowers in frames with Carrots must be ventilated
both day and night, to harden them off. They must
be regularly watered. Early in the month the frames
and lights over these should be removed for Melons,
if the weather is fine.
Tomatoes may be planted out under cloches this
month (see p. 61).
Melons. Prepare trenches 2 ft. wide and i ft. deep,
and fill with two-thirds dry and one-third fresh
manure for making Melon beds. These are covered
with soil from trench in next bed. When Melons are
planted, the lights are placed on frames and kept close
and shaded for a few days (see p. 172). Early in the
month a final sowing of "Cantaloup Prescott" and
" Kroumir" may be made.
Watering. This is an important operation. Abund-
ance must be given to Melons well set in fruit, and also
to Cauliflowers showing heads.
Leeks. Make a sowing of " Long Winter Paris " to
CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS 219
be planted out in July in beds where Carrots and
Cauliflowers have been grown. Water freely and hoe
Cornichons or Prickly Cucumbers may be sown on
old hot-beds early in the month (see p. 129).
Celery. Seeds of the " Blond " variety may be sown
early in May for autumn use.
Radishes may still be sown in vacant places on
beds or in the open air.
Endives. About the third week in May sowings of
the fine-leaved and broad-leaved varieties may be
sown in the open, afterwards intercropping with
Lettuces. Others maturing should be tied (see p. 139).
Celeriac. The final planting should be done this
Mean temperature of Soil at i ft. deep, 60. 02. Air, 60. 45
Endives. The " Rouen " variety should be planted
out at end of month on old manure beds. Earlier
crops will need tying up, and will be ready during the
The variety called " Ruffec " and " Green Batavian "
may now be sown on old hot-beds to give a supply in
Carrots and Cauliflowers will be ready about the
third or fourth week, and the beds on which they are
grown may be used for Melons sown in May ; or the
beds may be planted with Endive or Celery.
Each morning the Cauliflowers should be examined,
and those developing heads rapidly should have some
220 FRENCH MARKET-GARDENING
of the lower leaves detached and placed over them,
to keep them pure white, otherwise they become
browned and are not so valuable (see p. 114).
Cauliflowers and Melons. A sowing of "Lenormand"
Cauliflowers early in May will produce young plants
that will be ready for planting among the Melons at
the end of June about four plants to each light.
Lettuces. The last of the Cos Lettuces grown in
frames or under cloches will now be disposed of.
Melons must be well watered this month, and have
plenty of air, even at night-time in fine weather.
Fruits from first crop will be ready by end of month.
Catch Crops. The beds that have borne Carrots
and Cauliflowers, and have been prepared for Endive
or Celery, may have catch crops of Spinach or Break-
fast Radishes sown on them after the Endive or
Celery has been planted.
Cabbages. About the middle of June seeds of Winter
Cabbages and Savoys may be sown on old beds, the
seedlings being ready for planting out at the end of
July if they have been well watered and not sown too
Mean temperature of Soil at I ft. deep, 62. 85. Air, 63. 40
Asparagus raised from seeds sown in January will
be ready for planting out about the middle of July.
The best plants only should be chosen.
Carrots, early, and Spinach may be sown as catch-
crops on beds of other crops, and must be well watered,
to be ready in October.
CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS 221
Endives sown in June may now be planted in the
open-air beds, and will be ready by October. " Ruffec "
and " Green Batavian " are the best at this period.
Cauliflowers may be planted in the Endive beds,
one between every two.
Celery. When the Cauliflowers that were planted
in the Carrot beds in March have been cleared, their
place may be taken by the Celery plants raised in
Melons must now be watched regularly for the
ripening of the fruits, and lights may be removed
altogether if weather is fine.
Lettuces. Cos and Cabbage varieties may be sown
in open beds for planting at the end of August.
Manure. During this month stable manure must
be obtained in large quantities and stacked into heaps
(see p. 19).
PLAN OF A FRENCH GARDEN
Although no two gardens devoted to intensive
cultivation are exactly alike in shape, size, or system
of cropping, the diagram overleaf may serve to give
a fairly good idea as to the lines upon which a French
garden is generally laid down. In actual practice
various modifications would naturally be made accord-
ing to the site and aspect ; and entrances and exits
would appear at the most convenient spots in the
fences or hedges.
Stores Manure ^^-J^"
(This quarter may be for open
beds in alternate years)
(This quarter may be for open
beds in alternate years)
Path & Path
(To be occupied by cloches
in alternate years)
(To be occupied by frames
in alternate years)
PLAN OF A FRENCH GARDEN
* Standpipes for watering (see p. 49).
Allium Cepa, 185
Amateur gardeners, a word to, 30
Annual expenses, 26
Aphis, Black, 178
Apium graveolens, 115
April, work for, 216
Artichokes, Globe, 67
- Argenteuil, 84
diseases and pests of, 88
forcing, 73, 76
intercropping between, 70, 80
open-air culture of, 78
raising the plants, 68
August, work for, 207
Barbe de Capucin, 121
Beans, Dwarf, 89
Beds, preparing the, 12
Brassica Napus, 201
Brussels Chicory, 122
Burhill Golf Club, 3
Cceur de Boeuf, 93
Early E*tampes, 93
Plat de Paris, 96
Pomme de Paris, 93
St. Denis, 93
Calendar of operations, 205
Capillary attraction, 15
Carentan, Scarlet, 101
Dutch Horn, 100
Early Forcing Horn, 100
first crops of, 102
French forcing, 100
Half -long Nantes, 101
Paris forcing, 100
Rouge demi-longue Nantaise,
Forcer Parisienne, 100
Sans Cceur, 101
Scarlet Horn, 100
thinning out, 104
Autumn Giant, 106
Boule de Neige, 105
covering the heads, 114
Demi-dur de Paris, 105
Dwarf Early Erfurt, 105
Early Dutch, 106
,, Paris, 105
first crops of, no
Gros Salomon, 1 05
intercropping between, in
late crops of, 114
Nain hatif d' Erfurt, 105
Petit Salomon, 105
pricking out young, 108
Second Early Paris, 105
spring and summer, 112
succession crops, 113
Celeri Rave, 120
Chicoree frisees, 134
Chou Marin, 195
Christmas Roses, 64
Cichorium Endivia, 134
Cichorium Intybus, 121
carrier for, 35
tilts for, 41
use of, 37
Cockchafer grubs, 166
Combination crops, 55
Commission salesmen, 29
Corn Salad, 123
Cost of maintenance, 24
Covent Garden of Paris, 129
Crambe maritima, 195
frame culture of, 125
insect pests, etc., 130
open-air culture of, 128
under cloches, 127
Cucumis Melo, 167
Cynara Cardunculus, 97
Daucus Carota, 99
December, work for, 211
Dwarf Beans, 89
Eel worms, 130
Elater lineatus, 166
Electric pumps, 14
blanching and tying, 139
hot-bed culture, 135
frame culture, 134
intercropping between, 138
pricking out, 136
Engine, gas, 14
Evesham gardens, 3
Expenses of French garden, 25,
February, work for, 213
tilts for, 40
French Beans, 89
French garden at Evesham, 2
,, Thatcham, 3
cost of a, 24
plan of a, 222
site for a, 7
work in a, 6
French system, extension of, 39
Gas engines, 14
Germination of seeds, 50
Globe Artichokes, 67
Ground, planning out the, u
Haricot Beans, 89
Helleborus niger, 64
History of intensive cultivation,
Hotbeds, making, 20
width of, 21
Implements and accessories, 32
Intensive cultivation, i
history of, 4
Asparagus, 70, 80
Cauliflowers, in, 113
Intercropping between (contd. )
Egg Plants, 132
January, work for, 212
July, work for, 229
June, work for, 219
Lactuca capita ta, 143
Lamb's Lettuce, 123
All the Year Round(Cabbage),
Blonde maraichere (Cos), 158
Brown Champagne (Cabbage),
Dwarf Frame, 160
Green Paris Market, 160
Crepe (Cabbage), 143
culture of, 145
diseases and pests, 166
Dwarf Frame Cos, 160
George (Cabbage), 153
Gotte (Cabbage), 143, 151
Green Paris Market Cos, 160
Grise (Cabbage), 156
maraichere (Cos), 159
Grosse brune paresseuse (Cab-
bage), 144, 156
Hammersmith Green Winter
Intercropping between, 152
Large Winter White (Cab-
mildew on, 166
Morine (Cabbage), 157
Palatine (Cabbage), 154
Paris Market (Cos), 160
Passion (Cabbage), 145, 157
Plate a Cloches (Cos), 160
pricking out, 146
Petite noire (Cabbage), 143,
summer and autumn, 164
tying Cos, 165
Verte maraichere (Cos), 159,
Winter Cabbage, 145, 156
Red Cabbage, 157
Manure basket, 43
heap, treatment of, 18
artificial, 1 8
March, work for, 215
Markets in Paris, 57
Marrows, Vegetable, 62
frame for making, 39
May, work for, 218
Melolontha vulgaris, 166
canker of, 178
Chypre, 1 76
culture of, 168
Early Frame, 167
diseases of, 177
late crops of, 175
nuile of, 177
pinching of, 171, 173
rotation of, 175
under cloches, 176
Meteorological averages, 207
Mildew on Lettuces, 166
Mushroom caves, 179
diseases of, 183
from spores, 185
November, work for, 210
October, work for, 209
cutting back, 186
Oyster, Vegetable, 192
Paris vegetable market, 57
Pathways, width of, 21
Peronospora gangliformis, 166
Phaseolus vulgaris, 89
Planning out the ground, n
Potatoes, Early, 62
Preparing the beds, 12
Pricking out seedlings, 52
Puccinia Asparagi, 88
Rainfall averages, 207
Raphanus sativus, 188
Receipts, estimated annual, 26
Red Spider, 130, 178
Rotation of crops, 55
Rumex Acetosa, 193
Salesmen, commission, 29
Seedlings, pricking out, 52
Seed sowing, 49
September, work for, 208
Site for a French garden, 7
Soil and its treatment, 10
Solanum Melongena, 131
Spawn, Mushroom, 183
Spores, Mushrooms from, 185
Sulphate of copper solution, 89,
Sunshine averages, 207
Taraxacum Dens-Leonis, 130
Temperature averages, 207
Tephritis Onopordinis, 120
Thatcham, garden at, 3
Thinning out seedlings, 51
Tilts for cloches, 41
for frames, 40
Tragopogon porrifolius, 192
Transplanting seedlings, 53
Valerianella olitoria, 123
Vegetable market, Paris, 57
Water, distribution of, 16
in winter, 48
Water supply, 13
Wire worms, 166
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Prices and Particulars on Jlpplication.
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WORKS ON AGRICULTURE
WORKS BY WILLIAM ROBINSON
ENGLISH FLOWER GARDEN
AND HOME GROUNDS
DESIGN AND ARRANGEMENT SHOWN BY EXISTING EX-
AMPLES OF GARDENS IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND,
FOLLOWED BY A DESCRIPTION OF THE PLANTS, SHRUBS
AND TREES FROM THE OPEN-AIR GARDEN, AND THEIR
Illustrated with many Engravings on Wood. Tenth Edition.
Medium 8vo. 158. net.
THE VEGETABLE GARDEN
ILLUSTRATIONS, DESCRIPTIONS AND CULTURE OF THE
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BY MM. VILMORIN-ANDRIEUX,
English Edition published under the direction of W. ROBINSON.
Numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 155. net.
"The Vegetable Garden ' is a complete and authoritative work upon all that concerns
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of everyone interested in vegetables, for it is not a work for the grower alone." Garden.
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OR, THE NATURALIZATION AND NATURAL GROUPING
OF HARDY EXOTIC PLANTS, WITH A CHAPTER ON THE
GARDENS OF BRITISH WILD FLOWERS.
Illustrated by ALFRED PARSONS. Demy 8vo. IDS. 6d. net.
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THE GARDEN BEAUTIFUL
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Illustrated with Engravings on Wood. Demy 8vo. 75. 6d. net.
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ROCK, WALL, MARSH PLANTS AND MOUNTAIN SHRUBS.
Third Edition Revised. With Illustrations. Svo. los. 6d. net.
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With 8 Illustrations. Svo. 75. 6d.
BASED UPON THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF AGRI-
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BY FRANCIS WATTS, B.Sc., F.I.C., F.C.S., and
WILLIAM G. FREEMAN, B.Sc., A.R.C.S., F.L.S.
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SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS.
THE SEED THE ROOT THE STEM THE LEAF THE SOIL PLANT FOOD AND
MANURES FLOWERS AND FRUITS WEEDS ANIMAL PtsTS OF PLANTS GLOSSARY.
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ELEMENTS OF AGRICULTURE
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BY W. FREAM, LL.D.
Seventh Edition. With numerous Illustrations.
Crown Svo. 35. 6d.
SOIL Origin and Properties of Soils Composition and Classification of Soils-
Sources of Loss and of Gain of Soils Moisture in Soils Improvements of Soils Tillage
Implements for Working Soils Manures and Manuring.
THE PLANT Seeds and their Germination Structure and Functions of Plants-
Cultivated Plants Weeds Selections of Seeds Implements for securing Crops Grass
Land and its Management Farm Crops Fungus Pests Insect Pests.
THE ANIMAL Structure and Functions of Farm Animals Composition of the
Animal Body Foods and Feeding The Art of Breeding Horses, Cattle, Sheep, Pigs :
Their Breeds, Feeding and Management The Fattening of Cattle, Sheep and Pigs-
Dairying Index of Plants General Index.
THE CULTURE OF FRUIT
TREES IN POTS
BY JOSH BRACE.
With Illustrations. Large Crown 8vo. 58. net.
1. INTRODUCTORY Houses and their Construction Selection of the Site Pots-
Soil Stocks Span-roofed Houses -Three-quarter Span Lean-to Houses Ventilation
Inexpensive Houses Wire Houses Protection against Birds Water Cost of Con-
II. THE FURNISHING OF THE HOUSE Number of Trees Required Arrangement ot
the Trees Beds and Borders The Need for Separate Compartments.
III. CULTURAL DETAILS The Forms of Trees -Potting Soil Potting-hook and
Prong Perforated Pots Method of Forcing Pruning Pinching Hide-bound Trees-
Surface Dressing Number of Fruits on a Tree Cost of Trees Longevity, etc.
IV. VARIETIES OF FRUITS Peaches and Nectarines Apricots Plums Chsrries
Apples and Pears- Baking Pears The Mulberry The Fig The Vine.
V. INSECT AND OTHER PESTS Green Fly Brown Aphis Red Spider Thrip
Earwigs Weevils Ants Mildew, etc.
VI. A CALENDAR OF OPERATIONS IN THE UNHEATED HOUSE FOR EACH MONTH
OF THE YEAR.
VII. MISCELLANEOUS OBSERVATIONS Flavour Gathering the Fruit Fruit Trees
for Decorative Purposes Miscellaneous Directions, etc.
EXPLANATORY NOTES TO PLANS INDEX.
" A valuable contribution to a very interesting phase of fruit-culture." Field.
" Brief, clear, and well-founded in the practical wisdom born of life-long experience in
the kind of gardening it describes, the work cannot but be serviceable." Scotsman.
BOOK OF HORTICULTURE
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE THEORY AND PRACTICE
BY F. C. HAYES, M.A.,
Rector of Raheny ; Lecturer in Practical Horticulture in
Alexandra College, Dublin.
With Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 2S. 6d. net.
PART I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Principles and Practice of Gardening The Soil : its
Nature and Preparation The Food of Plants: Manuring Half-hardy Plants and
Greenhouse Culture Hot-beds and Cold Frames The Gardenei s Natural Enemies
Seeds and their Treatment Budding, Grafting, Inarching, Layering, and Striking.
PART II. DEPARTMENTS The Spring Garden Summer and Autumn Flowers
Herbaceous and Rock Border combined Alpine Borders Roses Ferns : their Nature
and Classes Construction of Ferneries Climbers Lawn Shrubs Shrubs and Autumn
Tints Treatment of Lawns Culture of Vegetables Growing Fruit and Pruning Trees.
hART III TvPts OF HARDY FLOWERS Heartsease, Violas, and Violets Scillas
and Gentians Irises Lilies Anemones Carnations Chrysanthemums Cyclamens
and Tuberous Begonias Christmas Roses Wallflowers (Cheiranthus) Primroses
Annuals, Biennials, and Perennials Fragrant Plants Cordyline Australis Water-
PART IV. KALENDAR FOR MONTHS Gardening in January Gardening in February
Gardening in March Gardening in April Gardening in May Gardening in June
Gardening in July Gardening in August Gardening in September Gardening in
October Gardening in November and December A Short List of Reference Books on
Gardening for Students Specimen Examination Papers Index.
" Not so big that it need frighten the ardent amateur, nor so much of a primer that it
may be disdained by the fairly accomplished gardener, it has a good scheme. The first
part, consisting of eight chapters of general principles, in simple, non-technical language,
is a model of useful information in a small space ; the second part deals with departments
of gardening the third, with types of flowers, and the fourth is a calendar to work by "
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF THE
GROWTH OF CROPS.
BY A. D. HALL, M.A. (Oxon.),
President of the Rothamsted Station (Lawes Agricultural Trust) ;
First President of the South-Eastern Agricultural College.
With Diagrams. 55. net.
The science of agriculture has advanced considerably since the first edition of this book
was published, so Mr. Hall has taken advantage of the need for a reprint to produce what
is practically a new book. A good deal of fresh material has been added, the latest
statistics have been included and the whole text has been thoroughly overhauled and
re-set, bringing everything completely up to date.
An excellent and up-to-date text-book. . . . The complete knowledge of the soil and
part it plays in the nutrition of the plants requires investigation along three lines,
which may be roughly classed as chemical, physical or mechanical, and biological. It
the part it plays in the nutrition of the plants requires investigation along three lines,
which may be roughly classed as chemical, physical or mechanical, and biological. It
is exactly these with which the author deals, and although it is in no sense an exhaustive
treatise, a general outline has been given of all the recent investigations which have
opened up so many soil problems, and thrown new light on difficulties that are experienced
in practice." Gardeners' Chronicle.
THE BOOK OF THE
BY A. D. HALL, M.A. (Oxon.),
President of the Rothamsted Experimental Station ; First President of the
South-Eastern Agricultural College.
ISSUED WITH THE AUTHORITY OF THE LAWES AGRICULTURAL TRUST COMMITTEE.
With Illustrations. Medium 8vo. los. 6d. net.
BIOGRAPHICAL INTRODUCTION THE SOURCES OF THE NITROGEN OF VEGETATION
METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS THE COMPOSITION OF THE ROTHAMSTED SOIL
EXPERIMENTS UPON WHEAT EXPERIMENTS UPON BARLEY EXPERIMENTS UPON
OATS EXPERIMENTS UPON ROOT CROPS GROWN CONTINUOUSLY ON THE SAME LAND
EXPERIMENTS UPON THE CONTINUOUS GROWTH OF LEGUMINOUS CROPS EXPERI-
MENTS UPON GRASS LAND MOWN FOR HAY EVERY YEAR EXPERIMENTS UPON CROPS
GROWN IN ROTATION, AGDELL FIELD NITRIFICATION AND THE COMPOSITION OF
DRAINAGE WATERS THE FEEDING EXPERIMENTS MISCELLANEOUS ENQUIRIES
FERTILISERS AND MANURES
BY A. D. HALL, M.A. (Oxon.),
Director of the Rothamsted Station (Lawes Agricultural Trust) ;
Author of " The Soil," " The Book of the Rothamsted Experiments,"
This book, which is a companion volume to the same Author's book on
" The Soil," deals not only with the history, origin, and nature of the various
fertilisers and manures in use in this country, but also with their effect upon
the yield and quality of crops in practice. Much unpublished material has
been drawn from the Rothamsted experiments, but other series of field
experiments have also been utilised to furnish examples elucidating the
principles upon which manuring should be based. As befits a book intended
for the practical man as well as the student of agricultural science, a good
deal of attention is given to the making, value, and utilisation of farmyard
manure, while another important chapter deals with the manuring of each of
the staple crops of the farm, according to the character of the rotation in
which it finds a place.
A HISTORY OF GARDENING
BY THE HON. MRS. EVELYN CECIL.
With Illustrations. Medium 8vo.
ON THE MAKING OF GARDENS
BY SIR GEORGE SITWELL.
Square Demy 8vo.
This is an attempt to analyse the "garden magic" of Italy and to lay
down new principles of design. The Author is probably better acquainted
than any other living Englishman or Italian with the old gardens of Italy :
he attaches much importance to the psychological side of the problem, and
deals with the philosophy of beauty in a way which will appeal to every
lover of a garden.
LONDON I JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W.
LIST OF BOOKS
LONDON: JOHN MURRAY
50A, ALBEMARLE STREET, W.I
BOOKS ON HORTICULTURE AND AGRICULTURE.
I NDE X
AULD and KERPractical Agri-
cultural Chemistry 6
BEAN Trees and Shrubs Hardy
in the British Isles 3
BRACE The Culture of Fruit
Trees in Pots 5
BUXTON Fishing and Shooting 8
CARTWRIGHT Italian Gardens
of the Renaissance 4
CECIL A History of Gardening
in England 5
CHAYTOR Letters to a Salmon
Fisher's Sons 8
COLTMAN-ROGERS Conifers... 3
CURTIS The Small Garden
EDWARDES-KER The Chem-
istry of the Garden : a Course
of Practical Work 6
FREAM Elements of Agriculture 6
GASKELL Spring in a Shrop-
GIBBS A Cotswold Village ...
HALL The Book of the Rotham-
Fertilisers and Manures
The Feeding of Crops and
Agricul ture after the War
A Pilgrimage of British
Farming ... ... 7
HAYES A Handy Book of
Horticulture ... ... ... 4
HUTCHINSON Dog Breaking 8
JEFFERIES The Gamekeeper
at Home ... ii
JENNINGS Field Paths and
Green Lanes in Surrey and
LLOYD Hints to Farm Pupils 6
LONG (H.C.V Common Weeds
of the Farm and Garden ... 6
LONG ( J.) The Small Farm and
its Management 6
PARKER Shooting Days ... 8
PEARSE The Kitchen Garden
and the Cook 5
RAVENSCROFT Town Garden-
REES Creatures of the Night ... 10
The Heron of Castle Creek 10
ROBINSON The English Flower
The Wild Garden... 9
Alpine Flowers ... 9
The Garden Beau-
The Virgin's Bower
Grave tye Manor ....
God's Acre Beautiful 9
JOHN Wild Sports ... 8
STEBBING British Forestry ... 3
. . . . Commercial Forestry 3
TREGARTHEN Wild Life at
the Land's End 10
. The Life Story
of an Otter ... 10
TYNAN and MAITLAND The
Book of Flowers 5
Vegetable Garden ... ( .. 9
WEATHERS The Bulb Book ... 4
Gardening ... 5
WEBSTER Hardy Ornamental
Flowering Trees and Shrubs 3
WILLMOTT The Genus Rosa ...
WOLSELE Y- In a College Gar den
Books on Horticulture, Agriculture
and Country Lore.
TREES AND SHRUBS HARDY IN THE
BRITISH ISLES. By W. J. BEAN, Assistant Curator,
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. " Here is a book v/hich stands
out by itself as the work of a master of the subject. No one
who cares for trees and shrubs can possibly do without it . . . .
a mass of knowledge and experience which is unrivalled."
Mr. H. J. ELWES, in Country Life. With over 250 Line
Drawings and 64 Half-tone Illustrations. Two Volumes.
Second Edition. 485. net.
CONIFERS AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS.
By CHARLES COLTMAN-ROGERS. This book is an
invaluable aid for students and others in identifying the many
different species of trees included in the category of the Natural
Order of the Coniferae, and it also gives in anecdotal form much
reliable and interesting information on their life-history.
HARDY ORNAMENTAL FLOWERING TREES
AND SHRUBS. By A. D. WEBSTER. Author of " Prac-
tical Forestry," etc. " We commend the book on its un-
doubted merits as a reference work and guide." Journal of
Horticulture. Third Edition. 5s. net.
COMMERCIAL FORESTRY IN BRITAIN :
ITS DECLINE AND REVIVAL. By E. P. STEBBING,
Head of the Department of Forestry, University of Edin-
burgh. The need for a national scheme of afforestation ;
what it will do for the country ; the necessity for the use of
public funds, and the methods by which the State can obtain
the best return for its outlay, are discussed in this book by one
who is an acknowledged authority on the subject. With
Frontispiece. 6s. net.
ITS PRESENT POSITION AND OUTLOOK AFTER
THE WAR. By E. P. STEBBING. "Mr. Stebbing
writes with authority. He puts the case extremely well, and
he puts it with moderation." The Field. Illustrated. 6s. net.
4 BOOKS ON HORTICULTURE AND AGRICULTURE.
THE BULB BOOK,
t k or, Bulbous and Tuberous Plants for the Open Air, Stove, and
Greenhouse. By JOHN WEATHERS. Containing particu-
lars as to descriptions, culture, propagation, etc., of plants
|* from all parts of the world having bulbs, corms, tubers or
rhizomes (orchids excluded). " Meritorious, remarkable,
r informative and accurate, almost beyond criticism ; the most
complete bulb book of the present day, and likely to remain
a classic." Journal of Horticulture. Illustrated. i8s. net.
THE SMALL GARDEN BEAUTIFUL.
By A. C. CURTIS. " Mr. Curtis is both an idealist and a
practical gardener giving a lucid explanation of eminently
practical methods." Westminster Gazette. Third Edition.
Illustrated. 55. net.
ITALIAN GARDENS OF THE RENAISSANCE.
By JULIA CARTWRIGHT (Mrs. Ady). " The studies
before us are full of charm, and breathe the very spirit of that
spring-time of the modern world when Europe awoke again to
the loveliness of Nature." The Outlook. Illustrated.i2s.net.
THE GENUS ROSA.
By ELLEN WILLMOTT. Drawings by Alfred Parsons, A.R.A.
With 128 Coloured Plates and 56 Drawings of Fruits in Black
and White. " The outcome of many years of observation,
labour and study, this magnificent folio must take a higher
place than any existing monograph of the Rose." The Garden.
In 25 Parts. 2is. net each.
A HANDY BOOK OF HORTICULTURE.
An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Gardening.
By F. C. HAYES, M.A., Lecturer in Practical Horticulture in
Alexandra College, Dublin. " Not so big that it need frighten
the ardent amateur, nor so much of a primer that it may be
disdained by the fairly accomplished gardener, it has a good
scheme." Daily Chronicle. Illustrated. 55. net.
IN A COLLEGE GARDEN.
By VISCOUNTESS WOLSELEY, Citizen and Gardener of
London. " A serious contribution to an important problem
[Gardening for Women] as well as being, for the general reader,
a book of the pleasant garden, a book to refresh all those who
have ever cast a seed and waited for the flower." Saturday
Review. Illustrated. 6s. net.
BOOKS ON HORTICULTURE AND AGRICULTURE.
THE CULTURE OF FRUIT TREES IN POTS.
By JOSH BRACE. The result of very many years' practical
experience of this popular form of cultivation. " A valuable
contribution to a very interesting phase of fruit-culture."
The Field. With Illustrations. Second Impression. 6s. net.
FRENCH MARKET GARDENING : with Practical
Details cf Intensive Cultivation for English Growers. By
JOHN WEATHERS. With an Introduction by WILLIAM
ROBINSON. " This useful and interesting work deals with
every phrase of that form of intensive culture known as French
Gardening. It is well written and is easily understood. Fruit,
Flower and Vegetable Trades' Journal. Illustrated. 45. 6d. net.
THE KITCHEN GARDEN AND THE COOK.
An Alphabetical Guide to the Cultivation of Vegetables, with
Recipes for Cooking them. By CECILIA MARIA PEARSE
" The most extensive ever published in regard to the cookin^
of vegetables." Aberdeen Daily Journal. 45. 6d. ne '
A Hand-book of Trees, Shrubs, and Plants, suitable for Town
Culture in the Outdoor Garden, Window Garden, and Green-
house. By B. C. RAVENSCROFT. \ This work, the result
of the author's experience as a practical gardener in London
and suburbs, may be fully relied upon. Second Edition.
Revised and Enlarged. 45. 6d. net.
A HISTORY OF GARDENING IN ENGLAND.
By The Hon. Mrs. EVELYN CECIL (ALICIA AMHERST).
" It is so well-written that reading it is a pleasure. No one can
read it intelligently and fail to obtain a good idea of what
gardening in this country has been and is." The Field.
Third and Enlarged Edition. Illustrated. 153. net.
THE BOOK OF FLOWERS.
By KATHARINE TYNAN and FRANCIS MAITLAND.
This book makes no pretence at all to completeness or scientific
knowledge. It is as though one walked in a garden or the
fields and picked at random a flower here and a flower there,
tying them loosely into a bunch. 6s. net.
6 BOOKS ON HORTICULTURE AND AGRICULTURE.
THE SMALL FARM AND ITS MANAGEMENT.
By JAMES LONG, Member of the Small Holdings Committee.
Second Edition, thoroughly revised throughout and brought
up to date.
HINTS TO FARM PUPILS.
By E. WALFORD LLOYD. An indispensable book for those
starting to learn farming and anxious to pick up all the infor-
mation they can with a view to getting quickly into the business.
A PRACTICAL FARMER writes : " In a general way it is
very good, nor have I read anything so concise or with so much
real sound stuff in it before." 2s. 6d. net.
COMMON WEEDS OF THE FARM AND
GARDEN I Including the Weeds of Chief Importance, both
of Arable and Grass Land, and Weed Seeds. By HAROLD
C. LONG, B.Sc. (Edin.), of the Board of Agriculture and
Fisheries, in collaboration with JOHN PERCIVAL, M.A.,
F.L.S., Director of the Department of Horticulture and Agri-
culture, University College, Reading. With 98 Illustrations.
ELEMENTS OF AGRICULTURE.
By W. FREAM, LL.D. A Text-book prepared under the
authority of the Royal Agricultural Society of England.
Edited by J. R. Ainsworth-Davis, M.A., Principal of the Royal
Agricultural College, Cirencester. Tenth Edition. Illustrated.
7s. 6d. net.
PRACTICAL AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY.
By S. J. M. AULD, D.Sc., Ph.D., F.I.C., F.C.S., and D.
R. EDWARDES-KER, B.A., B.Sc. This book is intended
as a practical handbook in Agricultural Chemistry, for students
working through courses of instructions for the London B.Sc.
Degree in Agriculture, and other examinations of a similar
type and standard. Illustrated. 6s. net.
THE CHEMISTRY OF THE GARDEN:
A Course of Practical Work for Teachers and Students of
Horticulture, Gardening and Rural Science. By D. R.
EDWARDES-KER, B.A. (Oxon.), B.Sc. (Lond.). Contents :
The Chemistry of Plants The Chemistry of Soils The
Chemistry of Manures and Fertilisers The Chemistry of
Sprays and Washes Appendix. 2s. net.
BOOKS ON HORTICULTURE AND AGRICULTURE. 7
By Sir A. D. HALL, K.C.B., F.R.S.,
Formerly Director of the Rothamsted Experimental Station.
An Introduction to the Scientific Study of the Growth of
Crops. A new edition of this standard work, thoroughly
revised throughout, and re-set. *' A remarkably well-arranged,
well-written volume. In its way it is a masterpiece." The
Times. Third Edition. Illustrated. 75. 6d. net.
FERTILISERS AND MANURES.
" He is able to give innumerable practical notes on the results
of experiments in manuring, and it is these which we think will
form the chief attraction to the cultivator, as the results of
actual work on the land do not always coincide with
theories based on laboratory work alone ; a great work for
Agriculture, and for Horticulture also." Horticultural Adver-
tiser. Eighth Impression. Illustrated. 75. 6d. net.
THE FEEDING OF CROPS AND STOCK.
An Introduction to the Science of the Nutrition of Plants
and Animals. " The products of Sir Daniel Hall's knowledge
and experience are always welcome in the manuals which come
from his facile pen, but that now under notice is expecially so,
as it is complementary to his works on Soils and Manures."
Agricultural Economist. 4th Impression. Illustrated. 6s. net.
AGRICULTURE AFTER THE WAR.
" Small in size, but great in value, the work deserves- wide
circulation and careful consideration." The Times. Third
Impression. 55. net.
A PILGRIMAGE OF BRITISH FARMING.
" A marvellously accurate and illuminating account of agri-
culture. It must be for some time one of the most valuable
books in the library of English agricultural literature."
Home Counties, in the Daily Chronicle. Second Impre-sion.
7s. 6d. net.
THE BOOK OF THE ROTHAMSTED
EXPERIMENTS. Second Edition Revised by E. J. RUSSELL,
D.Sc.. F.R.S. Director of the Rothamsted Experimental Station.
Issued with the Authority of the Lawes Agricultural Trust Com-
mittee. This new edition has been brought up to date, and
new chapters are added, discussing work carried out during
the past ten years. 123. net.
8 BOOKS ON COUNTRY LIFE .
By Captain ERIC PARKER, Shooting Editor, " The Field."
" He fondles the memory of each satisfactory shot, recalls
every stone and bush, and brings the scent of bog-myrtle, or
the gurgle of the trout-stream, or the tap-tap of beaters'
sticks, or the thrill of an oncoming covey, before the reader
with amazing vividness. His book will be a treasury of real
delight not only to every exiled and homesick sportsman, but
to everyone who has known the free joys of moor, field, and
stream." The Spectator. Second Impression. 75. 6d. net.
LETTERS TO A SALMON FISHER'S SONS.
By A. H. CHAYTOR. " We are glad to welcome a new
edition of one of the best practical books on salmon fishing that
has ever been written." The Field. Second Edition.
Illustrated. I2s. net.
THE WILD SPORTS AND NATURAL HISTORY
OF THE HIGHLANDS.
By CHARLES ST. JOHN. With the Author's Notes and a
Memoir by the Rev. M. G. Watkins. Illustrated. Ninth
Impression. 6s. net.
FISHING AND SHOOTING.
By SYDNEY BUXTON. With Illustrations by Archibald
Thorburn. " He writes in so lucid and charming a manner,
that we have not often read a book on fishing with greater
interest." The Field. Second Edition. 123. net.
By CHARLES E. A. ALINGTON. Some practical hints on
increasing and preserving a stock of birds and on bringing
them over the guns. With Diagrams. 6s. net.
By General W. N. HUTCHINSON. The most expeditious,
certain and easy method. With odds and ends fcr those who
love the dog and gun. Popular Edition. Illustrated.
73. 6d. net.
BOOKS ON HORTICULTURE AND AGRICULTURE. Q
By WILLIAM ROBINSON.
THE ENGLISH FLOWER GARDEN
AND HOME GROUNDS. Design and Arrangement
followed by a Description of the Plants, Shrubs and Trees for
the Open-air Garden and their Culture. Illustrated with
many engravings on wood. Twelfth Edition. 155. net.
THE VEGETABLE GARDEN.
Illustrations, Descriptions and Culture of the Garden Vegetables
of Cold and Temperate Climates. By MM. VILMORIN-
ANDRIEUX. English Edition published under the direction
of WILLIAM ROBINSON. Second Edition with an Adden-
dum by W. P. Thomson. Illustrated. 255. net.
THE WILD GARDEN, or, THE NATURALISATION
AND NATURAL GROUPING OF HARDY EXOTIC
PLANTS. With a Chapter on the Garden of British Wild
Flowers. Bound in Vellum. Fifth Edition. Illustrated.
ALPINE FLOWERS FOR GARDENS.
Rock, Wall, Marsh Plants, and Mountain Shrubs. Fourth
Edition. Illustrated. los. 6d. net.
THE GARDEN BEAUTIFUL.
Home Woods and Home Landscapes. Illustrated with
Engravings on Wood. 75. 6d. net.
THE VIRGIN'S BOWER.
Clematis : Climbing Kinds and their Culture at Gravetye
Manor. Illustrated. 33. 6d. net.
GRAVETYE MANOR ; or, TWENTY YEARS' WORK
ROUND AN OLD MANOR HOUSE. Being an Abstract
from the Tree and Garden Book of Gravetye Manor, Sussex,
kept by the Owner. Folio. Illustrated.
Bound in Vellum. 3 35. od. net ; Paper, 2 125. 6d. net.
GOD'S ACRE BEAUTIFUL ; or, THE CEMETERIES
OF THE FUTURE. Illustrated. 6s. net.
io BOOKS ON COUNTRY LORE, ____
BOOKS ON COUNTRY LORE.
THE HERON OF CASTLE CREEK: AND
OTHER SKETCHES OF BIRD LIFE. By A. W. REES,
Author of " lanto the Fisherman," etc. With a Memoir of the
Author, by J. K. Hudson. Mr. Rees' previous volumes of
Nature Studies won him a place which was all his own in the
great succession of writers who have made nature their theme.
This book consists of a series of studies of Bird Life, and also
chapters on Bird Watching and Animal Life in Winter. With
Portrait. ys. 6d. net
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT.
A book of Wild Life in Western Britain. By A. W. REES.
" No one with a love of wild creatures can resist the charm of
such a work, every page of which shows knowledge, insight,
and sympathy ; a fascinating work." Daily Telegraph. Illus-
trated. 73. 6d. net.
A COTS WOLD VILLAGE.
By J. ARTHUR GIBBS. With a Portrait of the author and
other Illustrations. " It is a delightful work." Pall Mall
Gazette. " It has been a real pleasure to read it." The
Guardian. Ninth Impression. 6s. net.
WILD LIFE AT THE LAND'S END.
By J. C. TREGARTHEN. Records and Observations of the
Habits and Haunts of the Fox, Badger, Otter, Seal, etc., and
of their Pursuers in Cornwall. " We should say that his book
has all the charm of the best conversation, of a sportsman
of the old school, mingled with that of a gamekeeper and a
poacher, men who knew the night as well as they knew the
day, a man as well as a fox." Daily Chronicle. Illustrated.
THE LIFE STORY OF AN OTTER.
By J. C. TREGARTHEN. " The book is one in which
naturalists will especially rejoice, because they will find what
cannot be found elsewhere ; but there is no class of reader
above the age of twelve who would not find satisfaction in this
. speaking descr'ption of Western scenery and graphic tale of
the most mysterious of its denizens." Times. Illustrated.
BOOKS ON COUNTRY LORE. n
THE GAMEKEEPER AT HOME ; or, SKETCHES
OF NATURAL HISTORY AND RURAL LIFE.
By RICHARD JEFFERIES. " Delightful sketches. The
lover of the country can hardly fail to be fascinated where ve:
he may happen to open the pages. It is a book to read and
keep for reference, and should be on the shelves of every
country gentleman's library." Saturday Review. Illustrated.
THE AMATEUR POACHER.
By RICHARD JEFFERIES. " We have rarely met with a
book in which so much that is entertaining is combined
with matter of real practical worth." Graphic. 6s. net.
SPRING IN A SHROPSHIRE ABBEY.
By Lady C. MILNES GASKELL. "A beautifully illustrated
book, half garden book and the rambling thoughts of a
. cultivated woman, half fiction and Shropshire folklore."
Evening Standard. Illustrated. los. 6d. net.
FRIENDS ROUND THE WREKIN.
By Lady C. MILNES GASKELL. A further collection of
history and legend, garden lore and character study, such
as was gathered up in the former volume, " Spring in a
Shropshire Abbey." Illustrated. los. 6d. net
FIELD PATHS AND GREEN LANES IN
SURREY AND SUSSEX.
By LOUIS J. JENNINGS. This book will be found inter-
esting, and in some degree useful, to those who find an unfailing
source of pleasure in wandering over England, deeming nothing
unworthy of notice, whether it be an ancient church or home-
stead, a grand old tree, a wild flower under a hedge, or a stray
rustic by the roadside. It is a genuine account of personal
experiences recorded, as a rule, on the very day they occurred:
Fifth Edition. Illustrated. 6s. net.
CORNHILL 1/6 net
Edited by LEONARD HUXLEY.
" Can a magazine have a soul ? In turning over the pages
of the hundred volumes of the 'Cornhill, 1 I have been on
the search, and I believe I have found it. ... The range
of subjects is very wide, the methods of treatment are
infinitely various. Politics and public affairs have for the
most part been avoided, though the fringe of them is often
touched. . . . The ' note ' of the * Cornhill ' is the literary
note, in the widest sense of the term ; its soul is the spirit
of that human culture, as Matthew Arnold describes it in
the pages, reprinted from the * Cornhill/ of * Culture and
Anarchy.' "SIR E. T. COOK.
OPINIONS OF LIBRARIANS.
" I find upon inquiry at our five Libraries that the ' Cornhill ' is well
read, and certainly it appeals to a section of readers who can appreciate
better literary fare*than is offered in most of the modern monthlies. May
I take this opportunity of expressing my own admiration for the high
literary tone which you preserve in the ' Cornhill.' "
" My Committee are of opinion that there is room for one of its kind*
(Personally, I think there is only one of the ' Cornhill' kind, and that is
the ' Cornhill ' itself.) I may say at once that the ' Cornhill ' exactly meets
the wants of a select body of readers."
" It is one of the few magazines of which a complete set is kept in stock
for the benefit of borrowers."
OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
" Cornhill is in a class by itself and is full of the most entertaining reading
with real literary flavour." Liverpool Courier.
" The counsel of perfection is to purchase the ' Cornhill/ that you may
not only enjoy its contents but keep them to show a friend." Guardian.
"Those of us who are not in the habit of reading the magazine will be
well advised to repair the omission." Oxford Magazine.
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